DTLA: Tom’s Urban Now Open at LA Live
Tom’s Urban is now open at LA Live. It took over the old ESPN Zone which means it’s a huge restaurant that spans over two floors. On the ground level, you’ll find a lounge, a large bar and dining room. Upstairs seems to be set up for private parties.
What I found fascinating about the drinks list were most of the drinks could be doubled. Tom’s Urban first started in Colorado and most of the cocktails are from that list there. Bar consultants Blacklab Ventures did put their spin on the drinks, introducing premium spirits and establishing cocktails on tap. Look for more of their drinks soon.
The full name of the WTF is WTF :). Yes, a drink with an emoticon! If you love getting wasted in college over questionable mixing habits, this may remind you of the good ol’ days of beer and wine…. mixed together with orange juice and bourbon.
WTF – Elijah Craig 12-year-old bourbon, red wine, Coors Light, orange juice, simple syrup
I’m pretty sure you can’t operate a sports bar without serving Buffalo wings. I am thinking about resurrecting my hot wings crawl and Tom’s would be on the list with the cool Greek yogurt dressing (instead of the usual bleu cheese or ranch).
For something really different, get the baby kale and white bean pizza. The creamy white bean was a good base for this pizza. Don’t worry, there’s still cheese and the combination of Asadero and Sonoma goat cheese went well with the kale. So maybe it’s still a healthy choice?
You have two choices for bloody marys at Tom’s Urban. I went with the simple Urban Mary which is vodka and Tom’s bloody mix. It you want more of a kick, they also make one called Moonshine Mary which features moonshine and garnished with a spicy pickle and pickled green beans. I might have to try this one for brunch.
Urban Mary – Hangar 1 vodka, Tom’s bloody mary mix, salty rim
The favorite of the night was the grilled Croatian fig jam and 3 cheese. This grilled cheese was a surprise hit with the sweet and savory notes.
Tom’s thinks of hummus as a “traditional small plate.” I can’t argue with that since hummus is so ubiquitous, it should be called traditional at this point.
As mentioned, Blacklab Ventures put together cocktails on tap program. We sampled the Margarita on tap with great results. It tasted perky and fresh. I found the apple juice surprising but a welcome juice.
Tom’s Margarita – Maestro Dobel Diamon tequila, lime, apple juice, agave nectar
Most people would say the San Marzano tomatoes are the best in the world. Tom’s doesn’t skimp on the sauce for their pork and beef meatballs with a little bit of Sonoma goat cheese. I’d love to see this in a sandwich format. Perhaps lunch?
I almost laughed when I saw a drink called Moscato Peach Cosmo. We had to try it of course. It’s a drinking match to the WTF :). I see this being very popular. It actually wasn’t too sweet and quite balanced.
Moscato Peach Cosmo – Hangar 1 vodka, Giffard Peche de Vigne liqueur, Tom’s lemon sour, moscato
Under the title of interesting small plates, the ginger chicken pot stickers could almost be in the traditional small plates category. It came with a great mildly, spicy sauce called Seoul sauce.
I don’t know anyone more shocked than I was to discover the Fireball Sour is quite drinkable. The cinnamon-flavored whiskey is toned down a bit by the strawberry liqueur.
Fireball Sour – Fireball whiskey, Tom’s lemon sour, Giffard Fraises des Bois liqueur
Another cocktail on tap is the Urban Mule. The ginormous drink is served in a big metal mug. I liked the fresh pressed ginger juice in this.
Urban Mule – Hangar 1 vodka, lime, ginger, simple syrup, club soda
I’ve been in love with falafel every since I first had in in college. Now many, many years later, I still have a love affair with falafel. And I was surprised by how fresh and different the edamame version was from Tom’s.
The cheeseburger sliders had great pickles. Tom’s did a good job with the sliders but they should be good considering the founder also owns Smashburger.
The tequila in Taze Me, Bro had been infused with spicy chili peppers but it wasn’t too spicy.
Taze Me, Bro – Maestro Dobel Diamond tequila, chili peppers, pineapple juice
Another crowd favorite was the pork belly tacos with chipotle aioli. A squeeze of fresh orange lightened it up. I also enjoyed the crunch from the cole slaw with the tender bits of pork belly.
The LA Charade reminded me a bit of a Hemingway daiquiri minus the grapefruit. It was probably one of my favorites on the list.
LA Charade – Bacardi rum, lime, maraschino, simple, black cherry
Tom’s Urban makes a good choice to stop in before or after a game or a convention at nearby Staples and the Convention Center.
© The Minty 2014