Friday, June 11, 2010

Buvare: The Tar Pit

I didn't get around to blogging about Mark Peel's newest venture, the Tar Pit, the first time I visited the swanky Old Hollywood vibed lounge. But after this past Tuesday night's after-dinner drink (read: unforseen bender), I have plenty to report about the cocktail program!
The summer menu put together by bar manager David Kupchinsky left an indelible impression on my thirsty mind.
First up was the Martinez - A neo cocktailian nod to the original martini, delicately blending Gin, Punt e Mes, Antica Carpano, Maraschino, and bitters. This is a lightly bracing, palatable, near-perfect cocktail. (And here begins my downfall).
The intoxicating African Flower is my kind of 'dessert' cocktail, entwining Bourbon with Crème de Cacao, Amaro, and a flamed orange peel. Sweet, smokey, sexy, simple.
The After Glow has some zing from its base spirit Aquavit, mellowed with Amaro, Maraschino, Bianco, and bitters. Another pleasant aromatic digestif cocktail.
Finally, one of the Tar Pit's signature plays on the traditional Manhattan, the Green Point uses Rye, Punt e Mes, Yellow Chartreuse, and bitters for this neighborhood-inspired rendition. Another that I sampled last visit was the Little Italy, made with Cynar in place of the Chartreuse, a sweeter companion to the herbal Green Point.
A complex (albeit froofier) drink I also tried last time was the embarrassing-to-order Fashionista, a spin on a Gin Old Fashioned updated with coriander, juniper berry syrup, tarragon, and marasca cherries (wowza).
And while it didn't make the cut this time, I look forward to walking into the Tar Pit bar on a balmy summer night for The Prude's Demise (apparently inspired by the kumquat trees that line the front entrance), made with Jamaican over-proof rum, kumquats, kaffir lime, pepper syrup, Velvet Falernum, lime juice and soda.
Check it out on a slow night, sit at the bar, and nosh on oysters or the duck rillettes. Just drink plenty of water and a B-12 before bed. Amen.

609 N. La Brea Ave. LA. 323.965.1300
The Tar Pit in Los Angeles on Fooddigger
Tar Pit on Urbanspoon

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