Hollywood: Cocktails at Salt’s Cure
Salt’s Cure has moved to Hollywood from West Hollywood. They took over the old AMMO space in December and the biggest news is they now have a liquor license. Beer and wine are great but getting a good cocktail makes me want to visit all the time. Plus one of LA’s fave bartenders, Daniel Zacharczuk runs the bar.
I went to the original location years ago when they first opened. I had a generally good impression of it though at times it was a bit salty for me (I grew up not eating much salt since my dad had health issues). In any case, I always meant to check it out for brunch since it’s a favorite of lots of friends.
I’m happy to report the cooking has gotten really refined and I loved every dish I tried.
My favorite drink of the five I tried is the Artist’s Special. Bartender Daniel tells a great story about learning about groseille liqueur which he tried in Europe. He approximates the red currants liqueur with cassis and grenadine.
Artist’s Special – blended Scotch whisky, amontillado sherry, lemon, house groseille liqueur
I realize I’ve become a big advocate for chicken liver toast though it’ll probably never be as pretty as avocado toast. However, Salt’s Cure challenges this by adding a few marinated pickled red onions. This added another dimension of flavor. This is one of my top 5 chicken liver toasts in Los Angeles right now.
The lamb tartare arrived with the perfect egg already spilling its lusciousness down its pretty pink sides. I really appreciated the big chips this was served with, ensuring we got every last bite.
Sometimes you work on a drinks recipe forever and do cocktail R&D for weeks or even months. Or sometimes you make something on a plane ride and it works like the Pearson’s Buck. This is a great drink while eating small plates. I started thinking about the white sausage with sauerkraut to go with it but I’m glad we tried some cured meats, liver and pate.
Pearson’s Buck – pear brandy, elderflower liqueur, lime, ginger, seltzer
We also tried the house capicollo served with olives and spicy paste. It’s a cured meat made with pork. I imagined eating this as a deconstructed sandwich. The spicy paste was great but I went nuts for the olives.
The house groseille makes an appearance again in the Old Sport, a stirred rum cocktail. This was also a huge favorite of mine. I really liked Daniel’s housemade barolo chinato. Of all the different vermouths, I really enjoy barolo chinato (I have expensive taste). This is a combination of Suze, Punt e Mes and the house groseille. Add in a Strega and you got a very complex cocktail.
Old Sport – rum, housemade barolo chinato, strega, house groseille
When I posted a picture of the pate on Instagram, one of the comments was “what is this.” It made me think, what is pate? Well, any chacuterie lover will tell you it’s meat and/ or offal. Usually pates are soft in texture but this had a bouncy feel closer to the texture of pate en croute. It was great with sliced pear and walnuts.
Salt’s Cure has a bottled drink for the brunch menu. It’s the Aperol Cream Soda. I tend to love the more bitter Campari but its little sister Aperol makes a great entrance with cream soda. It’s lovely and effervescent. I can imagine it’d be a good companion at brunch when you want something fizzy and lighthearted. I do admit I have a special fondness for cream soda so maybe I’m warming up to Miss Aperol.
I have a dirty little secret. Or maybe it’s not so dirty. I love vegetables even though I’m a hardcore meat-arian. I just consider it a bonus when veggies are just as awesome. The dandelion salad with radish, aged goat cheese and bacon bits is wonderful but it’s the milk curd as a dressing that really makes this dish.
I was feeling the big eye tuna on the menu and after learning it was my last chance to get it before it went out off the menu spurred me on. I am glad I did because the nicely marinated fish combined with plump olives really made my night. I also enjoyed the celery root which balanced out the big flavors.
I loved hearing how Daniel made the house coffee liqueur for the Colorado Bulldog. It’s coffee infused whiskey essentially but all the work (steeped cold brew with coffee grounds and strained, twice!) was a lot of work but it’s worth it for this creamy dessert concoction that you don’t have to feel bad about.
Colorado Bulldog – vodka, house coffee liqueur, cream, cola
On my next visit, I’ll have to get the duck leg confit, potato dumplings and black bass… that is if those items are still on the menu. Expect the menu to evolve with what’s available seasonally.
Salt’s Cure aims to be a neighborhood place where you can drop in for brunch or beat out traffic in their 3-6 p.m. Anti-Gridlock hour (happy hour) or late night. I think that’s huge the kitchen closes at midnight.