Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

Library Bar at the Roosevelt Hollywood – Los Angeles

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Library Bar, Roosevelt (image credit: Roosevelt)

Roosevelt Hotel
Library Bar
Tel. 323.466.7000
Res. 800.9507667
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Off the lobby of the Roosevelt in Hollywood the Library Bar is a small space to enjoy hand-built cocktails with foams made on the spot and Névé ice is used exclusively. I am glad to see that America has finally caught up in the ice department, a bonus the Japanese have been offering for years, in intricate hand sculpted ice used in drinks and cocktails, taken from the glaciers of Mt. Fuji.

Matt Biancaniello, the resident bartender, makes a mean vanilla or fig Manhattan, Ham on Rye, 17-Step Bloody Mary and other odd concoctions. Drinks are $15.

Tavern Tipples . . . Las Perlas Tequila & Mezcal Den and Caña Rum Bar Open Downtown – Los Angeles

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

small logo RDCTavern Tipples . . . two new bars have very recently opened in the vicinity of downtown Los Angeles:
Las Perlas Tequila and Mezcal Den and . . .
Caña Rum Bar

Cedd Moses opened Las Perlas at 107 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, Tel. 213-988-8355,,  in downtown Los Angeles. It is a bar devoted to liquors distilled from the agave plant, Tequila and Mezcal. The main “mixologist” will be Rivera’s Julian Cox and he plans on maintaining the same format, using in-house concocted syrups, bitters, herbs, Mexican sugars, and special salts.  Fruits and vegetables will be purchased from LA’s produce markets. Hard to find, “small batch” tequila and mezcal are available and can be ordered neat, and a large selection of Mexican beer is available on tap or in bottles.

Another Cedd Moses creation has literally “just opened”:  Caña Rum Bar (At the Doheny) 714 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015, Tel. 213-745-7090, opening Hours: 6pm to 2am Monday through Friday, 7pm to 2am Saturdays. They  feature live Caribbean & tropical latin music.  To enter you will pay an annual membership fee of $20.

The Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge – Beverly Hills

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel (image credit: Beeverly Hill Hotel)

There was a period in my life when the Polo Lounge was virtually my second home, although the days of Buddy, the telephone pager walking around the hotel with a sign and calling, ” Paging Mr. . .” and a telephone at your booth being a coveted symbol are over, the Polo Lounge is just as popular today as it was on the day it opened.  I recall Dino, who was the Maitre ‘d for the evening shift, and Nino the Maitre d’  for lunch, he took over Dino’s slot after Dino passed away. After Nino (his last name is Osti) took over and became the No. 1 man, the one that doled out what were considered the “good” tables to a limited few.

Beverly Hill Hotel (image credit: Beverly Hills Hotel)

It was always difficult to obtain one of the tables in front of the bar, and especially difficult to be seated at one of the booths lining the walls. Gus Tassoupulos was one of the bartenders at that time, I last saw him a couple of years ago tending bar at the Hotel Bel-Air (he told me at the time he would be retiring soon), and he was just one, of a great staff of waiters and bartenders that staffed the Polo Lounge, I can still remember all their faces, although unfortunately, not all of their names.

The Beverly Hill Hotel Pool (image credit: Beverly Hills Hotel)

It all began on May 12, 1912 when the hotel was opened by Margaret J. Anderson and her son, Stanley S. Anderson, who previously managing the Hollywood Hotel. In the twenties the name of the famous bar and lounge with attached al fresco dining patio was called El Jardin, the name was changed in the forties to honor Will Rogers and his friends Daryl Zanuck and Tommy Hitchcock as they played polo on the field behind the hotel and often stopped by for drinks afterward.

The founder of the Beverly Hills Hotel was Burton Green and the hotel was specifically built to attract people to the new area of Beverly Hills from the fashionable residential areas of Hollywood and Hancock Park in hopes of enticing them to buy one of the plots of land to build a house in the new surrounding development of Beverly Hills. Many different owners were to follow, and it should be mentioned that the hotel closed for a time in 1930 during the depression. In 1932, Bank of America reopened the hotel with William Kimball as manager, but the hotel struggled financially, and in 1935, the bank installed one of its vice presidents, Hernando Courtwright, to oversee foreclosure.  Courtwright fell in love with the hotel and dismissed the thought of foreclosing. He instead orchestrated a buyout, installed himself as manager, and along with Loretta Young, Irene Dunne and Harry Warner purchased the hotel in 1941. He then presided over the period of the hotel’s fastest growth.  In the next decade, it became an even bigger celebrity spot than it had been in the 1920s. Courtwright later went on to buy the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. There was also Ben Silberstein, who bequeathed the hotel to his two daughters Muriel Slatkin and Seema Boesky. Seema Boesky sold the hotel for $136 million to Denver oilman Marvin Davis. In 1987, Davis sold the hotel to its present owner, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, of Brunei under the umbrella of Sajahtera Inc, a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency. They closed the hotel for two years for a complete remodel. The hotel is now managed by the Dorchester Collection, which includes such prestigious properties as: The Dorchester, London; Le Meurice, Paris; Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris; Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan; The New York Palace, New York; Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles.

The Polo Lounge has been patronized over the years by Royalty, Presidents, film stars that go back from the silent years to the present, Hollywood power-brokers and wealthy people from all over the world. It is an institution!

Beverly Hill Hotel Bungalows (image credit: Beverly Hills Hotel)

The Varnish Bar – Los Angeles

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Varnish Bar Sixth StreetCocktail glass engraved into the door separating Varnish Bar from Cole’s

Varnish Bar
118 E. Sixth St. Los Angeles CA 90014
Tel. 213 622 9999
Live piano music
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Drinks around $12

Hidden in the back of Cole’s (one of the two original “French-dip” sandwich shops circa 1908, the other being Philippe’s) is a small, speakeasy-type bar called Varnish, it is accessed through an unmarked door at the rear. Once inside, a hostess will seat you at one of the tables or you may stand at the stainless steel bar where fresh fruits and other cocktail ingredients are displayed on ice surrounded by beakers of house-made syrups. Please be patient as there are only two bartenders, or mixolgists as they prefer to be called, and all the cocktails are hand-built and are meticulously constructed from “daisy fresh” fruit, hand squeezed juices and hand-sculptured ice from a block. For instance, order the Palma Fizz from the small list of drinks, it is made with vodka, lime, fresh ginger, and rose water and if nothing else, it will jump-start you with its spicy, gingery flavor. Incidentally, the name “Varnish” refers to the few varnished railroad cars available for the elite in the early 1900’s, which the decor of the room attempts to recapture. Varnish is the brainchild of NYC mixologists Eric Alperin and Sasha Petraske.

Smuggler’s Cove Bar – San Francisco

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco (image file credit: Smuggler's Cove)

650 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel. 415.869.1900

Smuggler’s Cove offers a whole new approach to rum by featuring a vast array of traditional Caribbean drinks, classic libations of Prohibition-Era Havana, and famous exotic cocktails from legendary tiki bars. In addition, Smuggler’s Cove will offer an unparalleled selection of rare and premium rums from around the world to sip slowly on their own or blended into exotic cocktails. Martin Cate is a San Francisco Bay Area based rum & exotic cocktail expert who for over a decade has been passionate about rum & tropical cocktails. He was the co-creator, designer and chief mixologist for Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA. He has met with over a dozen rum distillers in five countries, and lectured at Bourbon and Branch’s Beverage Academy, Tales of the Cocktail, and Tiki Oasis. “I am very excited to help showcase this wonderfully varied spirit both on its own and in delicious cocktails. A great rum drink can be simple and elegant, or complex and dynamic, but it must always be balanced, approachable, and just a pleasure to drink”, says Martin Cate.  Martin has traveled the world to learn the rich history and explore the traditional spices and regional ingredients of the world’s rum producing countries in order to feature them in the cocktails of Smuggler’s Cove. As an award-winning mixologist and member of the United States Bartenders Guild for the last four years, Martin is committed to using only the best quality spirits, fresh-squeezed juices, and housemade ingredients. But while Martin is serious about the drinks, he knows that people are looking for a memorable and fun experience as well. Smuggler’s Cove will be more than just a tiki bar, but it will feature the kind of dramatic, mysterious, and escapist atmosphere that makes a tiki bar so special and makes rum taste better! Smuggler’s Cove will include waterfalls, vintage nautical decor and rum memorabilia, and relics from some of San Francisco’s most famous historic watering holes.  The drinks list has over 80 drinks and more than 200 hundred different rums. They also feature an exclusive, handcrafted rum: Eurydice, a 100% California grown and produced artisan product from the distillers at St. George Spirits, and 100% fresh citrus juice is squeezed in-house daily.

A crew of expert bartenders and mixologists behind the bar who have honed their craft at some of the top spots in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including Gitane, Heaven’s Dog, Malo, Range, Seven Grand, Trader Vic’s, and The Varnish.

The Tar Pit Bar – Los Angeles

Monday, December 14th, 2009

The Tar Pit Bar, Los Angeles (image credit:

Just when New York’s bar scene had become too serious and stodgy even for New Yorkers, Los Angeles took up the slack and is beginning to open bars that are more fun and amusing. The latest being The Tar Pit Bar, 609 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, 90036, where Manhattan Pegu Club mixologist legend, Audrey Saunders helped out by veteran bartenders Chad Solomon (Milk & Honey) and Christy Pope (Cuff & Buttons) have dreamed-up some stylized neo-tropical drinks that will head-up the bar list, suaver versions than the weary tiki-type concoctions, and served in vintage looking sculpted glassware. House-made bitters and a drink called “The Night Marcher” a mug complete with bondage gear and a ball gag in its mouth and a Barbara Eden look-alike genie glass with a view from the opposite side of the  genie’s bare bottom will prime you for what is to come. Several ice machines will churn out various sized ice, from block to pellet and includes an ideal one and a quarter inch cube. Chef Mark Peel from Campanile Restaurant is the food side of the equation and will devise a menu of small plates to suit the various drinks. Wine Director Jay Perrin will put together the wine list.

Muse – Bangkok

Sunday, December 13th, 2009


Live Thai bands with intermittent disk spinning by a DJ, Muse is frequented by a young Thai crowd.

Prices: Whiskey (Johnnie Walker Red Label) 1190 baht, mixers are 60 baht, beer (Heineken) sell for 150 baht

Blue Velvet, Music, Drinks & Dining – Bangkok

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Blue Velvet (image

Blue Velvet
105/2 Thonglor Soi 5, Sukhumvit 55 Road
Tel. 02 392 1769
Fax. 02 392 1770
dressy casual
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate-Expensive

A new venue has opened about 25 meters down Soi 5 from Soi Thonglor, serving, a light menu for dinner, drinks and music.Blue Velvet 4 (image credit: entrance complete with moat and draw bridge primes you for the interior decor mimicking an ersatz castle Blue Velvet 6 (image & below: A myriad of light globes mostly off with only a few lighted to give some sparkle is one of the decorative attractions in an otherwise dungeon-like atmosphere

Blue Velvet 2 (image

BarSu, Oct 29, 2009 Sheraton Grande Hotel Sukhumvit – Bangkok

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Lagarde Wine Tasting at Bar Su 29 Oct 09 (image credit: Bar Su)

The Australian Pub & BBQ, Wine Tasting, Oct 29, 2009 – Bangkok

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Bar Su, Sheraton Grande Hotel Sukhumvit, Bangkok (image credit: Bar Su)