.. and a bucket of duck fat frites.
To be honest, it wasn’t QUITE the Viceroy Hotel in SaMo itself. The posh bar slash lounge had an actual name: Cameo. On this particular week night, it was packed with all types: 40 something cougars, 60 something pimpin gramps from Florida, hipsters, and.. yes.. a mom rocking her stroller in the lounge area. After texting 2 hottie WestSide gal-pals ( http://waffles.yelp.com/ & ronnie size me ) , it was decided the “GREAT DEAL” (no really Ronnie, 3 lil dashes of grub is NOT a good deal @ $21) would be foregone and.. wait for it… only duck fat frites would be consumed along with a cocktail. Cuz this was to be the “ee cha” of a long nite.
The drink which came in a mug was the bacon explosion of a cocktail: McCallan 10, maple syrup, bitters, and ginger ale. Each cocktail had a name of a single fruit/flavor followed by the serving methodology (note the maple clearly says: “mug”), followed by the main liquour, followed by bitters and flavors. This is a very chic cocktail list. The “maple” drink was true to its name. The ginger ale and brown sugar turned the entire concoction into an earthy brew akin to Chinese cold remedy. Just brilliant. Easily the finest drink so far this year.
one more iten: DUCK FAT FRITES!
the bartender explained to me how the oddly shaped fries (think elongated perfectly square fries in the form of a two by four) came from a potato first wrapped in duck fat, in a plastic bag of some sorts. the potato is cut freshly before frying. while the fries had tremendous texture with a near puffy texture, it tasted, and smelled, nothing like the duck fat frites of tasty yore. total waste of money and hence given to a lovely neighboring single lady.
one more iten: DUCK FAT FRITES!
The previous bar was apparently a shit hole. Now, it’s a really chill lounge with a wicked mixology menu. There is a variety of bitters, and all the vegetation used are sourced from the Santa Monica farmers market. While some are sick of the current crazy mixed booze trend, it’s hard to argue against a tasty hand crafted cocktail using high quality ingredients. It’s great knowing while your liver is getting slammed, your body isn’t also being negatively affected by pesticides and genetically modified citrus. The specialty cocktail mix is 6 pages deep and the front page offers the Market Menu which offers the entire list of available liquor as well as bitters, mixers and twists.
As others have mentioned, it’s a bit like The Counter of cocktails. You select your own liqour, chose a few add-on (toppings?) and the sauces (bitter) and bam, your very own personalized cocktail. Or you can just get a Pablo’s Tuesday which was “Applejack, Aperol, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Orange Juice”. If the 40+ cocktail list is too daunty on a pre-drunken nite, one can peruse the entire list of cocktails on their website here. Cocktails vary from $11-$14 and there is even a selection of out of town ringers such as the “Newark” from PDT Bar i New York City (Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, fernet, Luxardo Marashino Liqueur). How do you not love this place? It’s a foodie’s dream of a cocktail lounge.
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