DTLA: Mini Bar Hop within ACE DTLA; Rooftop & LA Chapter Bars
The highly-anticipated Ace Hotel has opened in downtown Los Angeles. There are two bars to enjoy at this hotel including the Upstairs, the rooftop bar and LA Chapter’s Mezzanine bar. I’m looking forward to trying the food at LA Chapter but let’s do a run down on the drinks first.
I have now been to Mezzanine bar three times. The cocktail list has expanded slightly each time and I’ve done my diligence to keep up.
Keeping in mind this is a restaurant bar though in an upstairs space, I thought the drinks were designed to be food friendly. Perhaps start with Roses in Winter, a sparkling rose wine cocktail with a hint of St. Germain and a little bit of bitters. I went strong as usual and tried the Ghostlight, a spiced rye drink that was good to snuggle up with at the few sunken
Roses in Winter – St. Germain, hibiscus, sparkling rose wine, Peychaud’s bitters
Ghostlight – rye, cardamon spice syrup, Angostura bitters, cherry bark bitters
On one of my first visits, a friend opted for the Silver Line Fizz. We were reminded of Orange Julius which is not a bad thing and good times.
Silver Line Fizz – Zu Bison Grass vodka, pomegranate molasses, lemon, egg white, orange bitters
I again went strong and had the Scotch Rocket. It’s pretty much my favorite drink on the current list featuring Scotch and my new favorite orange flavored Bigalet Amer China China.
Scotch Rocket – Scotch, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Bigalet Amer China China, maraschino
I wasn’t so into the Gee Bee however. But I am a true Campari fan and though it’s now the same company, I feel Aperol is a pale Campari. Give me the real bitter orange of Campari rather than the hint of it. However, keep in mind I do suspect these drinks are to be food friendly. Some might like the Earl Grey tea flavored cocktail.
Gee Bee – Aperol, Earl Grey-infused Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, honey, soda
Considering how small the Mezzanine bar is, I was a bit surprised how spacious the Upstairs bar is. It takes up the entire roof and the bar you see when you step off the elevators is beautiful and modern. There are also a couple of smaller bars on either side but we stuck with the main bar.
LA Chapter also runs the Upstairs bar. This list had a couple of classics including the Junglebird. As mentioned, I’m a huge Campari fan so I gravitated towards that drink when I probably should have tried one of their originals. Unfortunately, the tins they use for the drinks weren’t rinsed well and I was getting a lot of coffee from the drink. I suspected it used to contain one of their coffee-flavored cocktails only moments before. The other drinks I tasted were also muddied with odd flavors. I had high hopes for the Silky Johnson which was proclaimed a favorite among the small crowd next to my party.
Junglebird – Cruzan black strap rum, Campari, lime, pineapple, demerara
Silky Johnson – claro rum, passion fruit, Salers genetian, lime, falernum
The name Kentucky Mai Tai was a bit misleading. I thought perhaps bourbon would be swapped out for the rum in a regular Mai Tai but the list of ingredients makes me think this drink should be called something else. Bourbon, mezcal, a peach liquor, Cynar? Only orgeat was the one remaining flavor of this Kentucky Mai Tai. Like the other drinks, the flavors were odd. I’ll have to return again because I believe we went on an off night. I also would love to check out the Upstairs during the day where the views of Downtown LA are reportedly fabulous.
Kentucky Mai Tai – bourbon, mezcal, liquor de peche, Cynar, orgeat, lemon
The Upstairs Bar929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015 — (213) 623-3233
© The Minty 2014