Hollywood: Drinks at No Vacancy and Dirty Laundry
No Vacancy from the Houston Brothers has been open for a few months now but I finally had a chance to visit a couple of weeks ago. Like its sister bar La Descarga, there’s something really cool about the way you enter No Vacancy. I was also very happy to see quite a few bartenders from a different sister bar, Harvard and Stone. The only bummer of the night was since it was a week night, I didn’t get to see any of the entertainment a la yet another sister bar, Pour Vous.
If you haven’t guessed by now though, all these elements make No Vacancy pretty special. Originally, I thought the bar would be called Hotel Juniper but I like the name No Vacancy better.
I didn’t see a cocktail list but I scanned the back bar and spotted Sipsmith Gin, a new gin I like. I asked for a gin fizz made with it. It was just what I wanted. Cocktails were pretty reasonable at $10 a piece. I’d love to come back for the entertainment which I hear involves trapeze artists.(323) 465-1902
We headed around the corner to the newest Houston Brothers bar, Dirty Laundry. I understand normally you have to enter with a password, usually a name from one of the mailboxes outside the bar (find it on twitter) but luckily, we made it in without.
Once inside, you can’t help but notice the SEX sign. It was an indication of the theme. Dirty Laundry was an old Hollywood speakeasy during Prohibition. Booze was smuggled in with the dirty laundry.
In the back room, the tables are made up from these old laundry baskets. Empty bottles are stacked inside and also line some of the walls of the bar.
I was happy to see bartender Dino Balocchi from Littlefork working at Dirty Laundry. He’s splitting his time at both spots. I decided on the All Night (cognac, applejack, Yellow Chartreuse, lime, orgeat, cardamon bitters). It’s a mellow drink to sip on while checking out the DJ by the bar.
I was fascinated by what appeared to be frozen daiquiri machines at the bar. It seems they’re experimenting with cocktail slushies. Be on the look out for frozen Negronis soon.
The cocktail list is by barman Nicolas O’Connor. He’s from Apotheke in New York and he’s out in LA awaiting for the LA location to open in about a year and half. In the meantime, we get to enjoy his mad scientist ways at Dirty Laundry. He tells me he likes his simple bar tools but he’s not above a little flash. The High Desert cocktail involves flames from burning off the absinthe rinse. I loved this cocktail. Unlike the All Night, this felt like the sort of thing I should drink quickly then dance
on the bar or rather, at the bar.
High Desert – barley infused rye whiskey, sarsaparilla, bitters, absinthe rinse, orange zest
It feels like No Vacancy and Dirty Laundry are a natural 1-2 punch or mini bar-hop but each bar stands on its own. And the two have different crowds. I’d go to No Vacancy if you want a little bit more flash and Dirty Laundry when you want to chill with your friends. I hear there’s a third Houston Brothers project launching in the same complex so that’ll be even more fun. Go to one, both or all three when the third opens.(323) 462-6531 © The Minty 2013
Mmmm! The sarsaparilla sounds interesting in a cocktail!
Yes, it’s really good. I’ll explain a little bit more about it in an interview for Conde Nast.
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