Silver Lake: All the Drinks at The Friend
I recently checked out the new bar, The Friend, in Silver Lake. There are currently 9 drinks on the menu as well as a beer and shot combo called The Lover. I loved that all the drinks are named after people that might be in your life, particularly if you live in Los Angeles.
You can’t help but think of LA stereotypes as you peruse the menu. Is The Face your friend AJ? Or is The Hustler that dude who lives on the next block? In any case, let’s explore the menu.
Starting with The Face which features Absolut’s premium vodka, Elyx, the refreshing drink has notes of black tea, cucumber and mint. It’s like a spa pick me up.
The Face – Absolut Elyx vodka, black tea, cucumber, mint, lime
Yo, buddy, I will not get taken today as the Hustler charms you with its winning smile. The sunny and spicy drink wows with the subtle vanilla and mezcal.
The Hustler – Mestizo mezcal, habanero chile, vanilla, agave, lime
The Friend does serve food and we had some charming bar bites including the shrimp cocktail which is served over marinated fennel and a tomato chutney instead of a traditional sauce. The shrimp were very fresh. I liked this modern take of bar food from Chef Eric Greenspan who just opened his second Mare location next door to The Friend.
Beverage Director William Cutting takes us to meet The Wallflower. Despite its shy name, you’ll like this one with its mellow flavors of brandy, sherry and blackberry. Like any good sour cocktail, it does have egg whites and lemon juice. I like to drink sours earlier in the evenings but can’t imagine not wanting one while hiding in the corner of the bar at the end of the night.
The Wallflower – Hennessy VS cognac, East Indian sherry, creme de mure, lavender, egg white, lemon
There’s a lovely cheese plate with interesting cheeses. I find myself on the border dislike of bleu cheese but I liked this one so I quickly got on the bleu cheese bandwagon for the night.
If you like spicy tequila drinks, get the Leader. Like any good leader, it brings people together rather than dividing everyone. Cinnamon, tart tomatillo and mild chile combine for a party.
The Leader – Olmeca Altos anejo tequila, tomatillo, pasilla chile, canela, agave, lime
We probably didn’t need the cured meats platter but I can’t resist spicy salami and they had such good biscuits which were almost like dense crackers as they were so crispy.
Forget daiquiris. Just kidding, don’t forget them. But give The Writer a shot. She just wants to pitch you on her spin on Saturday night. Imagine it- rum and sparkling wine. It’s date night with your besties.
The Writer – Mount Gay rum, Chandon sparkling wine, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, elderflower, sage, lime
We tend to see ourselves in our friends and I definitely saw myself in each of the drinks but particularly the Writer, The Artist and of course, The Visionary and The Leader. The Artist is surprisingly fairly traditional and not at all the cut-off-your-ear type. If you like whiskey and ginger, this is the drink for you.
The Artist – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, cold pressed ginger, apple, honey, cinnamon, lemon
If you’re going to live in La La Land, you’re going to find out what a fixer is. This one keeps a steely eye on ya as you jump from one gig to another. Make sure you take all your calls and get this drink if you’re into brown, bitter, stirred drinks.
The Fixer – Beefeater 24 gin, applejack, Cherry Herring, rosso vermouth
My favorite snack of the night were the duck confit crepes. The crepes were the perfect texture and not too dense or hard. Sometimes I over did duck as a kid (we ate it every week) but then I have some good duck and I instantly want more than my share.
There are actually two sour drinks on the menu and while I like both, I thought The Player was so interesting because of the dates. Plus I love anything with a good sprinkling of nutmeg.
The Player – Henebery spiced whiskey, date, egg white, orange, lemon
And for a fun take on a Manhattan, try The Visionary which features Lambrusco. The festive sparkling red wine often seen at Italian weddings makes this a hit.
The Visionary – Old Forester bourbon, sparkling Lambrusco, vermouth, bitters
I think it’d be so much fun to gather 8 or 9 of your friends here and have everyone get a drink named after them. Who are you?
Maybe I’m The Lover. Time for that shot of bourbon and PBR.
The Friend2611 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 — (323) 522-6835 © The Minty 2017