Tag Archives: Sadie

Interview with a Bartender: Giovanni Martinez

Today my Bartender of choice is former Chivas Regal Brand Ambassador (2007), Bar Consultant and Spirits Director Giovanni Martinez.  Consultant for both the New York and Los Angeles Fig & Olive Restaurants, as well as Buffalo Club in Santa Monica, he can now be found working on drinks at Sadie in Hollywood.

I have known Gio personally for a couple of years now, due to his close friendship with his work colleague, my boyfriend, Greg Bryson (AKA FutureGreg.)   He is extremely passionate about alcohol and creating drinks, he’s entertaining, friendly and always the life of the party!

Giovanni Martinez

AKA: Gio
Official Job Title: Spirits Director
Born: Los Angeles, California
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, California
Current Work locations: Sadie, Hollywood


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*****

Q & A

What is the best thing about what you do? 
Opening the door for people and watching them step into a new World of drinking which they never expected to be in but now enjoy being a part of.
 
What is the Worst thing about what you do?
Cleaning out clogged floor sinks
 
Who would you say is your mentor? Who do you feel trained you in your area of expertise?
Max Warner and Colin Appiah probably influenced me the most in regards to dealing with having a commitment to  excellence whilst keeping the customer the number one priority.
 
What is the name of your favorite (current) Mixology bar in LA?
I have a great time at Harvard and Stone.
 
Are you a fussy eater or picky drinker? If so, what WON’T you try?
Not much. I won’t eat Domestic animals or Animals of high intelligence (except the occasional pork, they’re just so tasty).
 
What is the most unusual dish or food item you’ve ever tasted?
Unusual is so relative….Crickets.
  
What is your ‘go-to’ liquor of choice?
Umm….. In a Punch or Sour- Gin, in a Cocktail- Rye, Neat- Scotch or Tequila.
  
What is your favorite “Classic” Drink?
I really like Martinez’s and Last Word’s.
  
If you couldn’t do what you do now, what would you do instead?
Teach history.
  
If you could live anywhere in the World where would it be? and Why?
London or Bora Bora.  London because I’ve always had a stupendous time there, and Bora Bora cause, well, duh. But I couldn’t live anywhere but Los Angeles for very long, after all this is, to quote Steve Martin falsely quoting Shakespeare:
 
“This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
The envy of less happier lands, 
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this Los Angeles”
 

*****

If you would like to be considered for this segment of my site please send an email to pickydrinker@gmail.com with a little info on who you are and where you work.  If you don’t sound like a crazy person, I will happily send you a questionnaire to fill out.  If you work in Los Angeles I will almost certainly come in to see how good you are!

Please note: I am looking for enthusiastic bartenders with a real passion for ‘Tending Bar”, Mixology or Classic drink making.  Those of you who think ‘Sweet and Sour Mix’ is a great product, bartend only for the joy of extra cash and have no interest in the cocktail community itself, need not apply!

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Spring into Sadie

Event: Spring Menu Release

Sadie
1638 N Las Palmas Ave,
Los Angeles, CA, 90028

*****

Last week I found myself with a handful of local writers and bloggers for a sit down dinner at Sadie in Hollywood.  Chef Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant has been shaking things up in the Kitchen at Sadie, and this event was to showcase their new Spring Menu.

Our table was in the courtyard area which I was excited about as I hadn’t yet experienced this area of the restaurant.  Despite the chilly evening we were kept toasty warm by the outside heaters and new overhead awning.  The place has a romantic setting, especially the spot lit water moat that surrounds the patio and creates movements of light on the stone walls.

Each food item on the menu was carefully paired with a drink, designed and created by the talented bar staff.  Giovanni Martinez in collaboration with a number of team members at the bar have made a truly wonderful and varied drinks list. I have mentioned the bar scene in previous posts so I won’t go in to too much detail again, however I will say that I am never disappointed with the drinks at Sadie.

Our feast began with a delightfully refreshing drink called Temperado, which had a fresh taste and a subtle cilantro flavor that cleansed the palette before eating.  It had some heat to it from the Jalepeno, but it wasn’t overly spicy.

Temperado- Cachaca, Avion Silver Tequila, Lime juice, Fresh Cilantro and Jalepeno

The first dish to come out was a mini salad called a ‘Little Gem’.  It had a lot of flavor for its small size. The crispy ham, crunchy lettuce leaf and creamy garlic sauce complimented each other beautifully.  Next came an organic egg, described in the menu as ‘representing Spring’, which had a beautifully runny yolk, a hollandaise style sauce with peas and pansies (the flower!) and a grilled spring onion.  It was another very tasty little bite size appetizer.

            

After these first dishes we tried a local Heffeweizen (by Golden Road) and the Piscoteca drink.  The cocktail was interesting with ginger and honey notes, it had a bright flavor from the Yuzu and Lime juice but the citric acidity didn’t mask the Pisco and the drink itself was nicely balanced.

Piscoteca- Italia Pisco, Homegrown mint, Ginger honey syrup, Fresh lime juice, Yuzu bitters

A selection of share plates appeared for the table and we were able to sample the Pork belly, Pei mussels, Lamb meatballs and Oysters.  All the starters were tasty, although my only complaints were that the meatballs seemed slightly over seasoned and the Yuzu Kosho salty spiciness on the pork belly was a little too overpowering for my tastes.

Lamb Meatballs- Whipped sheep milk yoghurt

These two dishes were by no means bad, they just didn’t appeal to me personally.

Pork Belly- Yuzu Kosho, Spring Onions

The mussels however were wonderful and there was a definite sweetness to the dish.  It was creamy, rich and the Chorizo pieces gave a nice texture.

Glazed Pei Mussels- Potato Mouselline, Chorizo, Smoked Almond

Our Entree choices included Chicken, Fish, Pasta and Steak.  Seeing as everyone at the table was a writer/food critic/blogger etc we were all more than willing to give each other tasters of our dishes, so I had a chance to try them all.

The Chicken was wonderful.  It was flavorful, juicy and had crispy shallots on top that gave a nice textural element. I didn’t really notice the mushrooms, but I only had a small section of this meal and it may have been more prominent if i’d eaten the entire dish.

Organic Rocky Chicken- Crispy mushroom, Chicken Jus, Shallot and Chive

The Halibut was fantastic, my favorite of all the dishes.  It was light and flaky, not at all fishy or dry and the grilled asparagus was an excellent accompaniment. Bacon pieces and an Onion relish gave a light sweetness that was a nice addition for the fish also.

Wild Alaskan Halibut- Grilled Asparagus, Bacon and Onion Relish

The pasta dish was a ‘Linguine with Clams’ which I found a little too citric for my tastes and had almost a white wine vinegar flavor going on, everyone else seemed to enjoy it but it wasn’t what I expected. The steak was good, the meat was tender and well cooked and the vegetables were tasty but the dish itself didn’t Wow me, it was just OK.

Prime Rib Eye “Cap”- Charred Onion, Borderlasise, Salsa Verde

Drinks paired with the meal were all great and bursting with interesting flavors.  My favorite was the drink that paired with the Halibut called ‘Friar Fresh’.  It was such a simple but easy to drink beverage and had just the right combination of sweet from the honey and citric from the grapefruit.  I highly recommend ordering that drink.

Friar Fresh- Plymouth Gin, Velvet Falernum, Lemon Juice, Honey, Grapefruit juice

At the end an array of desserts appeared, including Doughnuts (made in house).  The doughnuts were delicious, and reminded me of beignets but with crystalized sugar as apposed to powdered sugar.  They came with a creamy irish coffee cream dipping sauce that tasted like a thick version of Baileys. Yum!

The best dessert in my opinion however came in the form of ‘floats.’  I could (and probably will) write an entire post on these floats alone. The ice-cream mixed with bitters was just divine.  It was creamy, sweet with just the right amount of a bitter twist at the end of each sip.  The chip was also tasty, and the Mexican coke gave it a nice bubbly sweetness.  Both reminded me of ‘Ice Cream Sodas’ I used to drink in the summer in England, they were refreshing and will be a great drink to sip on in the sunshine.

Fernet and Chip Float- Fernet and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream on Mexican Coke

Bitter Float- Peychauds bitter ice cream on Sanbitter Italian Soda

Overall the entire meal was a huge success in my opinion.  I have returned to Sadie on several occasions since it opened, with the intention of writing a review, however I never really had any dish that excited me enough to write about it.  This tasting evening, with the addition of Chef Mark gave me the kick to want to write about them.

The food is no longer good, it’s great and the drinks having always been nothing short of excellent, are now truly outstanding.  This place should be packed with customers and as soon as word really gets out, I believe it will be. From the gorgeous decor to the friendly staff, the romantic ambience and now the food that matches the fantastic drinks…this is nothing short of an excellent night out.

5 out of 5 Coupes

Drinks get my highest rating now, due to the addition of the truly imaginative and incredibly tasty floats.  All the bartenders know their drinks from Classic to Contemporary, everything i’ve tried has been balanced and interesting.

4.5 out of 5 Platters

All of the dishes and cocktails I described in this post are currently available for Spring time at Sadie.  If you haven’t been already, I suggest you make your way over there soon, if only to enjoy one of the delicious floats on the patio.

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Drink of the Week

Kentucky Ninja

  • 1/2oz Japanese Single Malt Whisky
  • 1 1/2oz Bourbon Whiskey
  • 3/4oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4oz Lavender-infused wild honey

Garnish: Lavender Sprig

Shaken & served in a glass rinsed with Peychaud’s Bitters.

I discovered this drink at Sadie and wrote about it in my review (here).  Having been back to this great bar in the past few weeks, I got to enjoy it a couple more times and decided it was good enough to be ‘Drink of the Week’.

I personally find it really easy to drink because it is refreshing, floral, definitely strong but balanced and slightly sweet.  If you have the elements available to you at home I suggest you have a go making it. If you find yourself in the Hollywood area be sure to stop by Sadie and taste the original. The recipe above was created by Giovanni Martinez in collaboration with FutureGreg and the Sadie Bar Team.

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Interview with a Bartender: Daniel Parino

By the powers of photoshop I finally have a cover for this segment! Hooray!

Ok, so I thought it would be fun to interview Bartenders/Mixologists across the City in a really informal way.  In the past few weeks when I meet someone who interests me behind the bar, or I know of their talents through word of mouth etc I send a questionnaire of 14 questions (my lucky number) for them to answer at their leisure.  I won’t put up all the answers they give me, just a handful of my favorites.

I am so  grateful to everyone who replied so far, I will make sure you all make it to the website within the coming months.  This is the first one that arrived in my inbox and therefore gets to go before everyone else!  It comes from the ever so sweet and always friendly Daniel Parino… Enjoy!

Daniel Parino

Official Job Title: Bartender
Born: San Francisco, California
Currently resides: Los Angeles, California
Current Work locations:
Sadie: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Father’s Office: Tuesday and Sunday

*****

Q & A

Who would you say is your mentor/trained you in your area of expertise?

Giovanni Martinez and FutureGreg (Greg Bryson)

What is your favorite “Classic” Drink?

The Manhattan

What is your ‘go-to’ liquor of choice?

Tequila.  I like tequila because it wrestles alligators in the morning and takes the princess to the ball in the evening.  It can be as high or as low class as you want it.  It can punch you in the face, or massage out your smallest woe.

Are you a fussy eater or picky drinker? If so, what WON’T you try?

No, there’s pretty much nothing I won’t try.  I don’t like mushrooms and I really wish I did, ’cause everyone else seems to think they are so awesome.  I keep trying them and keep not liking them.  It’s sad.

What is the most unusual dish or food item you’ve ever tasted?

Fish head curry…or sweet and sour veal brains….. I don’t know, I grew up in Thailand, so to be honest, I’ve eaten a lot of things I’m pretty glad I don’t know what was in them.

What is the name of your favorite (current) Mixology bar in LA? and Why?

Sadie cause the bar staff is so handsome!!!!  Just kidding.  I would say either The Varnish, because they just do everything right, or MBPost, because everyone in LA is working on the classics, and then on their own creative ingredient focused drinks, and MBPost combines the two. 

Where can you usually be found on a Saturday night?

My Saturday night’s have a pretty big swing, I love a night of Old Tom Gin with cucumber/celery bitters and kumquats, but I also like a solid night of PBR and Jameson shots.  I think it’s important to be a well-rounded drinker, it makes it easier to serve the “Fussy Ones”

What is the best thing about what you do? 

Surprising people.  The look on their faces when they never realized a drink could taste like that is definitely the best part of the job.  Or tricking vodka drinkers into drinking gin, cause its funny and they should branch out.

What is the Worst thing about what you do?

“No, man, I’m sorry, we don’t use Red Bull here”

If you couldn’t do what you do now, what would you do instead?

Write the great American novel

*****
If you would like to be considered for this new segment send an email to pickydrinker@gmail.com with a little info on who you are and where you work.  If you don’t sound like a crazy person, I will happily send you a questionnaire to fill out.  If you work in Los Angeles I will almost certainly come in to see how good you are!  Please note, I am looking for enthusiastic bartenders with a real passion for ‘Tending Bar”, Mixology or Classic drink making.  Those of you who bartend just for extra cash but with no interest in the cocktail community  need not apply!

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Amuse me with your drink names!

A guy walks into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, “You can come in, but don’t start anything!”

This week ‘The Fussy One’ (i.e me), has been all over Los Angeles and at more tastings, restaurants and bars than ever before.  I have so much to write about and catch up on, but looking out at the glorious sunshine here today I have decided I am going to start my real reviewing tomorrow and instead put up something ‘light and fun’ for the week-end.

Please note: This is a list of drinks that have a humor factor (name or story) I felt compelled to mention.  I pride myself on my research in to drink origins usually, but many of the drinks in this post are told from ‘a friend of a friend’ and so the original creators are much harder for me to track down.  There are many ‘amusing drink names’ out there but i’m not here to talk about the obvious ‘Screaming Orgasm’ or ‘Slippery Nipple’ shots, although these are sadly drinks that are ordered daily at many bars across America! The drinks in this post don’t contain ‘Peach Schnapps’ or ‘Apple Pucker’, they are more of the ‘Mixologists answer’ to pre fabricated spirits and artificial flavored silly named drinks!

First off I should say how the idea of ‘silly drink names and stories’ began.  On Thursday night I ended up at Sadie in Hollywood (food review coming soon) when my always funny friend behind the bar asked;

“Would you like Ryan Gosling in your mouth?” l responded with “Excuse me? Would I like who in my mouth?!” with a cheeky smile he replied “Would you like a drink consisting of ‘Rye’ and ‘Goslings’? What did you think I meant?”

Everyone at the bar laughed. Needless to say, i’d never heard of that drink and thought it was very funny and clever. Thus began my research in to other ‘amusing drink names’ of its nature.

Rye ‘N Gosling

  • 1oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1oz Goslings Bermuda Rum

Served neat.

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Actually not a bad combination, but pretty strong and not for someone who likes sweet mixed shots like myself.  I have to admit I do have a very sweet tooth and sadly do like some of the drinks out there with artificial flavorings.  I would never dream of ordering them at a mixology bar though, it is a complete insult to the barman’s skill and knowledge to do that.  At a dive however, I see nothing wrong with the odd ‘Washington Apple’. My boyfriend cringes at the thought but those kind of drinks aren’t for sipping leisurely on whilst enjoying the ambience. In general these are shots taken quickly in a dirty dive bar to get drunk quickly and get the hell out!.

Maguey after Amaro

  • 1 1/2oz Calle 23 Repasado
  • 3/4oz Romazotti
  • 3/4oz Fresh Lime juice
  • 1/2oz Agave nectar
  • 1 Egg White

Shake hard with one big ice cube. Serve in a tumbler.

Garnish: 3 Dashes of Miracle Mile ‘Forbidden Bitters’ on top

Bar man FutureGreg of Sadie and Bar Chloe in Santa Monica came up with this one (name came from the help of Dave Fernie of Harvard & Stone) when we were talking about drink puns and I thought it was pretty smart too.  Sounds like the ‘Day after Tomorrow’ when said quickly and is an accurate description of the drink ingredients.  Agave Americana is commonly known as maguey, or American aloe and is a plant found in Mexico used in the process of creating Tequila (they use blue Agave for Tequila). Romazotti is an Amaro.

Statutory Grape (Basically a red grape Gin collins)

  • 4 Grapes
  • 2oz Gin
  • 1oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup
  • Fill with soda water

Shake and Strain. Then fill with soda water. Serve in collins glass

Garnish: Grapes

This drink name, i’m told, was created by bartender Dave Fernie from Harvard and Stone (he apparently has several great names like this up his sleeve) however I wasn’t able to get a hold of him in time for this post and am not 100% certain of the accuracy of the drink itself.  What I have put up is basically a red grape Collins.  ‘The Collins’ is a drink dating back to Jerry Thomas and was first memorialized in writing in 1876 in his book “The Bon Vivant’s Companion and How to mix drinks’.  This “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink was typically served in a Collins Glass over ice. It is really refreshing and a great one for summer!

Finally, I am going to end with a drink I hope NOONE ever orders.  It is a story that just made me smile so made it to the list.  I have a friend who works in a bar in Manhattan Beach, I asked him of any ‘funny drinks’ he’d heard of recently and proceeded to tell me this story:

“One of my bartender buddies in New York had a customer come in and order “A Lindsay Lohan on the rocks”. Being a mixology bar he said “I’m sorry sir, we only make classic cocktails and pre-prohibition style drinks with fresh fruits here, besides I have never heard of that drink anyway”.  The customer turned to his friends and said “They can’t make that here” Out of curiosity the bartender said, “I’m sure I can make you something better but humor me, what’s in a Lindsay Lohan?” The customer smiled and responded, “Well, it’s a red headed slut with a splash of coke”.”

Needless to say, the bartender didn’t make it for him but thought it was pretty funny all the same and so did I. For those who don’t know, a ‘red headed slut’ is a nasty drink with jaegermeister in, the addition of coca cola is purely for the joke of the drink i’m sure.

Lindsay Lohan

  • 1 1/2oz Jaegermeister
  • 1 1/2oz Peach Schnapps
  • Fill with Cranberry juice
  • Splash of coke

Pour over ice, stir, and serve.

Garnish: Cherry

No joke, this has to be the most disgusting drink ever created.  I have not, and hopefully will never, try this. I urge you to heed my warning! I really dislike Jaegermeister (has a licorice flavor) but with coke and cranberry together? Yuck! This drink is on my site for the story behind it and NOT for it’s drink quality!!!

Anyway hope this made you smile! Go enjoy the sunshine if you’re in LA today 🙂

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Cocktails to cure your ‘Oscars fever!’

As you probably know it is award season here in Los Angeles, so I thought what better way to celebrate the 84th Academy Awards this Sunday 26th February 2012 than learning about a couple of ‘Hollywood Classics’ (Cocktails that is).

In the 1930s when the likes of Ginger Rogers and Clark Gable walked the red carpet, there were a couple of drinks created here in this starry eyed city that deserve a mention.

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Embassy Cocktail
  • 3/4 oz Brandy
  • 3/4 oz Jamaican rum
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • dash Angostura bitters

Garnish: Lime wedge

Shake in ice and strain in to a chilled cocktail glass.

This cocktail from the 1930’s was featured at the late ‘Embassy Club’ in Hollywood.  Adolph “Eddie” Brandstatter owned a number of Hollywood hotspots in this era, including the Café Montmartre which was hugely popular with the movie stars of the day.  When the stars complained about the hoards of fans bothering them (people would swarm around the entrance and stare at the patrons eating!) Eddie had the idea to knock a passageway from his place in to a newly constructed building next door and this new space became the exclusive Embassy Club.

It was a speakeasy styled private venue that ‘Old Hollywood’ movie stars could go to escape from the crowds.  Membership was restricted to Brandstatter’s closest friends which included many stars of the time including Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Jean Harlow and Howard Hughes.

Sadly, the move turned out to be a disaster for Brandstatter because the Café Montmartre lost it’s appeal. The public didn’t want to go there if they couldn’t see Hollywoods royalty.  In order to try and save his businesses he opened Embassy Club to the public but this in turn meant the movie stars stopped going and Brandstatter ended up losing both businesses and filing for bankruptcy. While it was around it is said to have been a beautiful location with a rooftop promenade and glass enclosed lounge with views of the Hollywood hills.

This drink has a great balance of sweet, sour and bitter.  I tried it for the first time this week-end and found it to be really quite delicious.  The Embassy Cocktail is currently a special on the board at Sadie, in Hollywood and will be available to order throughout this award season.

Classic Martini (Also known as the Bradford, Brighton or Gold Cocktail)

  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth

Garnish: Olive or a lemon twist

Stir in ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass

When I think of “Old Hollywood”, one of the actors that springs to mind is Cary Grant.  It is said that Cary Grant’s favorite cocktail was the Classic Martini (made with Gin of course). Author Ian Fleming always said he based his most famous character James Bond on Cary Grant.  James Bond had a reputation for living dangerously and making the wrong seem right, he also had to be different from the average Joe, so Fleming had his character always order this classic incorrectly…”Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred”.

A so-called ‘Classic Martini’ is actually really complicated so I won’t go in to it all now,  however the original recipe does call for Gin, which is a much better option than vodka in my opinion. Many cocktail connoisseurs also believe that shaking gin is bad because the shaking action “bruises” the gin (a bitter taste can sometimes occur). In Fleming’s novel Casino Royale, it says  “Bond watched as the deep glass became frosted with the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising of the shaker,” I advise you to order yours stirred, not shaken and always with Gin, not Vodka. Sorry James!

Hi Ho Cocktail (Also known as the ‘Highland and Hollywood Cocktail’)

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz White port
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
Garnish: Lemon peel twist
Shake in ice and strain in to a chilled cocktail glass.
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The Hi Ho Cocktail was created in Hollywood, California in the 1930’s and named after the cross streets where the Academy awards are held each year- Highland and Hollywood (Hi Ho).   First published in ‘World Drinks and How to Mix Them’ by William Boothby in 1934. I prefer this to a classic martini because I am not a huge fan of vermouth.  While red port is much more common these days, white port is still readily available so make sure you use it for this drink. A dry white port and a London Dry Gin are suggested.

Shirley Temple (non-alcoholic)

  • Ginger Ale
  • Dash of Grenadine (Original is made from Pomegranate based syrup)

Garnish: Cherry

This is a non-alcoholic cocktail named after one of the biggest child stars in history.  I felt the need to put this one on the list (despite its lack of liquor) for two reasons.

Firstly, Shirley Temple was definitely part of the old Hollywood scene.  She was actually awarded a miniature Oscar for charming America with her singing and dancing in the midst of the Great Depression. She was given the award when she was just 6 years old “in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934.”and this ‘mocktail’ is said to have been created so that she would have something to drink when out with the adult Hollywood stars.

Secondly, many places today make this drink incorrectly using ‘Sprite’ instead of the original recipe that calls for Ginger Ale,  be sure to ask for the latter when ordering, you won’t be disappointed.

REFERENCES

My research for this piece comes from many sources, but in particular I want to mention three great books I referenced;

1. ‘The Story of Hollywood’ by Gregory Paul Williams

2. ‘Elemental Mixology’ by Andrew “The Alchemist” Willet

and a fun read novelty book;

3. ‘Hollywood’s Favorite Cocktail Book – including the favorite cocktail served at each of the smartest stars’ rendezvous. Food and Wine Combinations.’ by Buzza-Cardozo published 1928.
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I hope you try and enjoy some of these drinks this award season, I have to admit I am not a big Martini drinker myself because in all honesty I find them too strong! I mean, they are for the most part almost straight liquor. I have not yet tried all of the drinks on this list, but am suggesting mainly for their Hollywood history.
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I don’t live too far from Hollywood Blvd but as a picky drinker I have decided it is my duty to force myself and my boyfriend to test these classics whilst watching the Hollywood excitement unfold on TV today. I suggest you do the same! 🙂

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Sadie (Bar Review)

Sadie

1638 North Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028 

323.467.0200 

This new place just opened in the last few weeks in the space where the infamous nightclub Les Deux used to be. It is no longer part of the club

scene and the area seems to have been cleaned up drastically. The owners spent thousands of $$$ ripping out the court yard and remodeling the inside. The end result looks wonderful. I really appreciated the brass top square bar, which is so unique in this town that seems to open bars constantly with marble counter tops. The brushed orange/brown metal makes it feel more rustic and old. I am sure as the bar is continuously used and dirtied it will add even more character to it.  I am told their inspiration/concept was “Steam Punk, think ‘Jules Vern’. When looking around the room at the mix of metals, old saloon style attire on the bartenders and bizarre black and white (creepy) photos on the wall, in my opinion the place reminded me more like the movie ‘Cowboys & Aliens’!! The most attractive feature that stood out to me, besides the brass bar, was the gorgeous wood panelling on the ceiling. The ‘orange/brassy’ color palette of the place make for a warm and inviting bar and restaurant, there are black and white framed images on the walls that change as you walk past them…cute idea, but honestly just creeps me out! Big thumbs up for doing something different though!

The cocktail list was pretty impressive. All bespoke syrups and fresh ingredients. I will be doing a repeat review at a later date for the restaurant side of Sadie, I was there for the opening party and sampled drinks only on this visit.  The drinks I did try were fantastic. Giovanni Martinez was in charge of the drink program here (he did the drink programs for ‘Fig & Olive’, Hollywood and ‘Buffalo Club’ Santa Monica) with the help of his extremely talented bar staff, which include Greg Bryson, Head Barman at ‘Bar Chloe’, Daniel Parino from ‘Fathers Office’ and Jade Warner from ‘Next Door Lounge’.

I tried the ‘Kentucky Ninja’ first which I enjoyed so much I had it again before leaving, it was well balanced and an interesting mix of flavors. Bourbon was the base, which is certainly not my ‘go to’ liquor of choice but worked beautifully against the lavender-infused wild honey (which the bartenders infuse in house).

Kentucky Ninja – Japanese Single Malt Whisky \ Bourbon Whiskey \ fresh lemon juice \ lavender-infused wild honey. Shaken & served in a Peychaud’s Bitters rinsed glass.

The next drink I sampled was a ‘La china’. My friend liked this, however it wasn’t my favorite. I really wanted to like it, even though, to be perfectly honest I don’t enjoy the flavor of Tequila. I liked the idea of it. Lychee black tea infused tequila blanco sounded wonderful, but when I tasted it the tequila over powered any attempt to taste the tea or lychee elements and therefore I didn’t like it too much. It was balanced and everyone else around me enjoyed it. If you like Tequila a lot, you are bound to enjoy it!

La China – lychee black tea-infused Avion Silver Tequila \ fresh lime juice \ organic agave syrup \ Velvet Falernum \ shaken & served up

After these new drinks I decided on a classic Bramble. This has a summery and refreshing taste to me and Sadie’s version uses muddled

fresh blackberries as well as the blackberry liquor.  The bramble is essentially a short gin sour with crème de mûre, on top. It was not invented at Sadie of course, it was created in 1984 by Dick Bradsell, at ‘Fred’s Club’ in London’s SoHo — although it is remarkeably similar to Jerry Thomas’ Gin Fix from his 1862 cocktail guide. Method is the same, prepared over shaved ice and fruit of the season on top. The only real difference is the fact ‘Blackberrys’ aren’t specified and no Creme de Mure. Anyway, it is a refreshing drink nonetheless and was made well here.

Bramble – Old Tom Gin \ fresh lemon juice \ crème de mure \ fresh blackberries (Dick Bradsell, 1980’s)

I didn’t get to sample but was intrigued by the Gran Prix mix of gin and beer! I am not a huge beer drinker (even though i’m from the UK) and even less so of Pale Ales…far too hoppy for me. However, I would be interested to hear how this tasted if anyone tried it. Message me if you enjoyed it and what worked/didn’t work with it. Here is the drink profile for those interested…

Gran Prix – Chrysanthemum-infused Beefeater Gin \ honey syrup \ fresh lemon juice \ shaken & finished with Racer 5 IPA.

All in all my experience at Sadie was excellent. The bar staff seemed extremely competent and every drink, by each individual bartender (I made a point of having drinks made by different people this night) came out balanced, beautifully presented and well made.

It gets my rate of  4.5 out of 5 Clover Clubs.

Service was fast and efficient, bartenders were knowledgable and new decor was interesting and attractive. It really is an excellent staff and bar program, and hats off to them for opening in the heart of “Head to toe Ed Hardy, Grey goose martini drinking ‘Les douche’ area”  They bring a clear level of sophistication to the area and hopefully will inspire that sort of client to try something new. I did and I loved it.  The half point missing from excellence was due to the odd music choice of the night, the tequila drink I didn’t care for  and the ‘les douche’ style people that attended that evenings event. I am almost certain the DJ and customers for opening night were not the usual, so this is likely to increase to a full 5 experience on second inspection. I will definitely be back.

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