Another whirlwind of a weekend in Los Angeles. This time I have to give a shout to Wife’s brother who acted as an incredible tour guide this weekend. He basically took everything I love and compressed it into a long weekend. Thanks buddy, it was fantastic.
Here are some highlights.
The weekend started with cocktails at Ray’s & Stark at the LACMA (5905 Wilshire Blvd). Before I even saw a menu I knew the place was legit. Its outside under the cover of the museum with decor that looks modern in a 1960s lounge sort of way. The bartenders were all very interested in helping us select cocktails and were friendly enough to just hang out a little. As you likely guessed, I went with the (Far) East of Manhattan, which is masala-infused rye, Amaro Nonino, Sweet Vermouth, bitters. Wow. I ended up having a couple of them. Dangerous, dangerous stuff. The bite of the rye is almost neutralized by the flavor but you can still feel it in your throat. Great stuff.
The next day, after I slept off my cocktails, some Jameson and some cask beers from Daily Pint, we headed to Downtown LA. A part of LA that I had never really checked out. You can see there is a lot of change going on but the grit is still there. We decided to go for a french dip and an old fashioned at Cole’s (118 East 6th Street near Los Angeles st.). You step inside this place and its like stepping back in time. Black and white tiled floor, deep brown woods, a huge wooden bar, vested bartenders… yeah this is my kind of place. I ordered a pastrami french dip and garlic fries. Holy garlic fries! They were amazing but they stayed with me all day long. Wife let me know plenty of times. The sandwich was great but the most memorable part of this stop was the old fashioned. I went to the bar with Wife’s dad to order them. The bartender really took his time and put a ton of care into these. The drink came with a giant block of ice that he chipped away himself. Again, very old school. Again, this could have gotten dangerous. Fantastic spot, not to mention its been there since the magical year the Cubs won the World Series!
Walking distance from there, we headed to the park from 500 Days of Summer. Wife and I had to get a picture. While there were a ton of bums passed out around the park there were also a lot of young couples hanging out. I guess that is a perfect example of Downtown LA being in the midst of change. The bench is located in the Angels Knoll on Olive street.
From there, we headed to Santa Monica for some afternoon beers at Bru Haus (11831 Wilshire Blvd near Westgate). Aside from the great beer list, the draw of this place was the timing we were there. In a room with less than 20 people at the time, we were five of them. The waitress was fantastic knowing her beers, despite admitting she hated beer! Impressive stuff. Any way, we tried a few different Belgians, English brews and some tater tots (with beetchup!?) and called it a day. As it got later and more crowded a different group of wait staff came in and you could see the whole dynamic of the place changing. It was time to go.
Looking forward to getting back to LA to hit some of these spots and seeing more!
A few other highlights:
- WP24- small bites and great view at LA Live, could be a great date spot
- Daily Pint- for the beer lover in you, I would say more but thanks to the (Far) East of Manhattans, I don’t remember much!
- Pat’s Topanga Grill- great breakfast spot. I felt more like I was in a mountain town than LA!