Ticket Giveaway: LA’s Best Bartender Competition


On Sunday, October 9th, five of the top bartenders in Los Angeles will be competing for the title of LA’s Best Bartender, presented by Table 20. The second annual competition is taking place at Elevate Lounge in Downtown LA.

Following are the finalists, their respective bars and Karlsson’s Gold Vodka cocktail entries:

  • Joseph Brooke of Next Door Lounge (People’s Choice) – The Spicy Stränder
  • Justin Pike of The Tasting Kitchen (Judges’ Selection) – Su Novia
  • Brian Summers of Harvard & Stone (Karlsson’s Cocktail Challenge Winner) – Blues in Orbit
  • Devon Tarby of The Varnish (Judges’ Selection) – Waltz #2
  • Daniel Zacharczuk of Bar | Kitchen (Karlsson’s Cocktail Challenge Winner) – Faster Young Fruit

In addition to the title of “LA’s Best Bartender,” the finalists will be vying for a grand prize that includes:

  • Billboard with photo, announcing the winner as LA’s Best Bartender.
  • Trip to the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail, Manhattan Cocktail Classic, or SF World Spirits Competition, including airfare, hotel and events ticket package.
  • Karlsson’s Gold Vintage Bottles.
  • Bar Keeper Gift Card.

The judges for the LA’s Best Bartender finals:

  • Matthew Biancaniello – Library Bar, LA’s Best Bartender 2010
  • Dale Degroff – “King Cocktail,” 2009 James Beard Award Winner
  • Jessica Gelt – writer, Los Angeles Times
  • Johnny Iuzzini (Head Judge) – Top Chef Just Desserts, 2006 James Beard Award Winner
  • Bricia Lopez – Restaurateur – Guelaguetza, LA Weekly’s “Best of LA People”
  • Marcos Tello – President, USBG LA Chapter; Founder, The Sporting Life

General admission tickets are on sale now. Besides entrance to the competition, tickets include seven drink tickets to sample the entries, bar bites, and access to shop Bar Keeper’s pop-up store. Ticketholders will also be able to attend an exclusive after party at Villains Tavern.

A portion of the proceeds benefit The Gentle Barn, a nonprofit that rescues, rehabilitates and gives sanctuary to abused animals.

Ticket Giveaway CONTEST IS CLOSED!
Table 20 has graciously offered a pair of tickets for me to give away to the October 9th finals at Elevate Lounge. That’s a $50 value, kids! And it couldn’t be easier to enter: all you have to do is leave a comment that says which of the finalists you think will win the title of LA’s Best Bartender. The giveaway closes at 12pm on Saturday, October 8th. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by email. Good luck!

LA’s Best Bartender Competition
Presented by Table 20
Sunday, October 9, 2011
3:30pm to 7:30pm
$25 General Admission tickets: labestbartender.eventbrite.com


  • Karlsson’s Gold Vodka Cocktails
  • Bar bites by Dave’s Catering
  • Ice Ice Shavie artisanal shave ice
  • Barkeeper pop-up store
  • Hosted by Dan “The Imbiber” Dunn

Elevate Lounge
811 Wilshire Blvd, 21st floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 236-9600

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  1. Elaise Piper on October 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Devon Tarby! I was at the Varnish the other night with a date who was a bit “trying” and she was so patient. When I told her how much I loved Luxardo Maraschino, she handed me a shot of Luxardo Amaro Abano and I was a gonner. Want her to be my mixology mentor! 🙂


  2. Katie S on October 6, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I’m going to have to guess Devon Tarby as well! The Varnish (and her cocktails) are wonderful.

  3. Natalia Klishina on October 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I’m going to make it unanimous (so far) for Devon Tarby, if only because she’s the only female in the group. Way to go.

  4. Cindy Icasiano on October 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Agree with all…going with Devon Tarby 🙂

  5. kneejerk on October 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Usually I’d go for Devon, but I’m gonna pick a dark horse candidate- Daniel @ B/K. Really wowed me the other night.

  6. G Tse on October 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    another for Devon Tarby!

  7. WanderlushDiary on October 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Brian Summers! Really the whole back bar team at Harvard & Stone should win a big blue bow!

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  9. Eva Rivera on October 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Tarby for the win!!! I love The Varnish!

  10. Todd E on October 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Devon Tarby.

  11. thirstyinla on October 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! The Randomizer has spoken, and the winner is Eva Rivera! Eva, check your email for the promo code to get your tickets.