Finding Gems at Bagatelle
Recently I checked out Bagatelle for a friend’s birthday. I hadn’t been before but was curious about the bar run by Zachary Patterson. Bagatelle has an outpost in New York and opened the LA location earlier this year. The prior incarnation of this place was a typical vapid Hollywood lounge but I found it to be the opposite. Sure, there were a few bad seeds but for the most part, people were there just to have fun and not “look cool.”
I found a seat at the bar while waiting for my friend. There were drinks specials for the birthday boy’s groups so I ordered mainly from that menu. My friend though would get drinks based on what she liked. Her first was the De La Louisiane (rye, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters). Some of the ingredients reminded me of a Sazarac and my friend found it very easy to drink.
We got the green bean tempura to snack on while we waited for our food. The bar menu was pretty incredible. There were 8 substantial choices from salmon to mussels to charcuterie to even roast chicken which our bartender insisted we had to get.
As another starter, we shared the mussels. I find mussels always a good value on any menu. They are usually meatier than clams and not as expensive as oysters in terms of shellfish.
One of Bagatelle’s signature cocktails is Le Fuzzy Bee (Hendrick’s gin, lavender honey, lemon, sparkling wine). It’s a take on a Bee’s Knees topped with sparkling wine. I’m not particularly into fizzy drinks but this was a nice one.
For dinner, my friend had the poached egg salad. It was probably a good choice since we were filling up on appetizers.
As mentioned, I had cocktails from the special menu. I know some of them were variations of the cocktails from the regular menu. I’m not sure what “Forgetting Bryson” is based on but the ingredients are: Wild Turkey bourbon, Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, honey. I really like this type of drink and was actually surprised it was a collins style and not a dainty coupe. Very refreshing!
I got the chicken to make the bartender happy. I really was going to order something else but he said he was going to order this for us anyway. Well, it must be that good? It was a perfectly roasted chicken. A bit rare to find these days. I did like it although it was a tiny bit salty for me. I think a side of plain mashed potatoes would have been great.
I did find out the “Girl from Greg’s Past” is actually a variation of the Girl from Lima cocktail on the menu. It is normally made with pisco but in this case, Dos Armadillos plata tequila is shaken with passion fruit, lemon, mint and serrano chilies. Oh this is wicked! I’m having so many tall drinks. I want to be laying out at the beach having these cocktails.
Meanwhile, the kitchen sent out a dessert of compressed melons, whipped avocado and pickled rinds. We welcomed the breezy fun treat.
© The Minty 2012