Food & Wine has just published Cocktails 2009, a handy little book featuring 130+ cocktails, 25 party food recipes, must-haves for the home bar, and more. One of the book’s key sections is its list of Top 100 Bars, a guide to the country’s top bars, lounges, and restaurants. Los Angeles has 10 bars listed, placing it third behind New York (14) and San Francisco (13).
The L.A. section is solid, with no questionable entries. It’s a mix of new and old, bars and restaurants. Personally I would’ve included Rivera as well, but I don’t know if it was open at the time F&W was going to print.
The list of ten bars follows; for more info see my Bars guide.
- Bar Centro
- Comme Ca
- Copa d’Oro
- The Doheny
- The Edison
- The Hungry Cat
- Musso & Frank Grill
- The Penthouse
- Seven Grand
- The Varnish
Another section of the book features 18 cocktail recipes created by the country’s top mixologists. Three cocktails are from L.A.:
- Apricino Sour – Eric Alperin, the Varnish. Utilizing techniques he perfected while creating Italian-inspired drinks at Osteria Mozza, Alperin creates a cocktail that substitutes grappa for pisco.
- Blackberry-Pineapple Sidecar – Ryan Magarian, the Penthouse. The Portland-based cocktail consultant starts with the flavors, then matches the classic cocktail.
- Mt. Stair – Vincenzo Marianella, Copa d’Oro. A “savory pear sour” named after an English schoolmaster who discovered the Williams pear (aka the Bartlett pear).
There are also a couple of L.A. entries in the Party Food section: the “Uncle Louie Burgers” (Carolynn Spence, Bar Marmont) and tagliata of porcini-rubbed rib eye (Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza).
All in all it’s a great book to have around, a concise and useful snapshot of the national cocktail culture from coast to coast. I know my copy is going to get pretty dogeared by the time next year’s edition comes out.