DTLA Dive & Craft Bar Crawl Recap
Kicking off my blog’s 3rd anniversary, I organized a Dive & Craft Bar Crawl last week in Downtown Los Angeles. We were also on the hunt for The Minty’s Hot Bartender. The winner and prize will be presented on Tuesday, December 11.
Word on the street is King Eddy is going to close its doors for renovations soon. How soon? Maybe January but who knows? Luckily, they were open the night of the DTLA Dive & Craft Bar Crawl. After the DTLA Dive Bar Crawl, I crowned King Eddy the king of dive bars in DTLA and I’m quite sorry to hear it’s been bought and will be renovated. Maybe there won’t be too many changes but I can’t imagine anyone keeping the $2.50 happy hour (well drinks with soda, with juice it’s another piddly $.50 cents).
I am half-way curious though what this bar slash merch table is going to turn into. What’s going to happen to the smoking box? Who’s going to clean up the basement with the underground tunnels. And where are the regulars (the one that come in at 6 a.m.) going to go? To be determined when they re-open after renovations.
131 E 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 – (213) 629-2023
Next we headed over to Cole’s which I was pleasantly surprised to discover was decorated for Halloween a week early. I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. Cole’s like other 213 Bars were competing for best decor. I hear Seven Grand won last year with their use of body bags hanging from the patio. Sadly, Seven Grand wasn’t on my list that night. At Cole’s, they really went all out and dripped blood everywhere including bottles of booze! I thought the fingers on the beer taps was genius. And the restroom? The ladies room? Oh no, you don’t want to go there.
We tried out some of the Halloween specials including Bitters Tears which was a No. 3 gin & Fever Tree tonic with Peychaud’s bitters and lime. I liked it though. Nothing wrong with a little gin y tonica. A friend tried out the Peggy Sue Got Buried champagne punch. It was a bit hit and she had another. I was trying to keep to one drink per bar but couldn’t resist the Marilyn Morose shots bartender Max handed me. Made with vodka, pomegranate, lemon, orange curacao, the shot was key with the real maraschino cherry.
118 East 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014-2006 – (213) 622-4090
Next we headed over to The Parish.
It was almost surreal to go from an obvious dive to a tricked out Halloween party to the understated elegance of the Parish. The bartenders moved in sync in the tiny bar upstairs. Carefully choreographing a dance of swizzling, double-stirring and pulling drafts of beer.
I do love the Historic Core and Shish Mahal cocktails. The Parish does get packed but we had no time to linger anyway since we were trying to get to our final two stops of the bar crawl. I’ll have to go back to check out the nominated bartender Leo for the Minty’s Hot Bartender!
840 S Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 — (213) 225-2400
I was in the mood for a little Chartreuse (when am I not?) and wanted a Last Word variation. Bartender Daniel from Bar | Kitchen said Final Ward which triggered me to remember the Final Ward (rye, Green Chartreuse, maraschino, lemon). Ah, delicious.
It was our quickest stop since we had to make up some lost time. If I had known Daniel was leaving BK, I would have lingered. Oh no! Some of my favorite bartenders have or had tended bar at BK. Whoever manages next has a lot to live up to.
819 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017 – (213) 623-9904
Our last stop of the night was Cana. Like other 213 Bars, it was already decorated for Halloween. Bartenders Milan and Edwin seemed confident they had the creepiest bar with their Carrie theme. It was gory all right. Even the cigar paintings had blood dripping from them.
I decided to get my current favorite cocktail from the late Summer/ Indian Summer menu, the Vamos a la Playa. As I was sipping my drink, it almost made me forget I sadly couldn’t attend Portland Cocktail Week this year. I did miss Allan and Dani from Cana but I’ll see them next time– hopefully after the bar gets de-bloodied.
Don’t forget I’m still accepting nominations for The Minty Hot Bartender. I’ll be announcing some finalists the week after the Hot Bartenders in Los Feliz Crawl. Sign up for the crawl or the big Anniversary Party!
714 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015 – (213) 745-7090
© The Minty 2012