DTLA: Here and Now Bar is Now Open
Here and Now is now open. It takes over the old Westbound space at One Santa Fe in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Va’LA Hospitality will now operate the bar as partners with owner Sarah Meade who had shuttered Westbound earlier this year.
I was invited to a preview last week and checked out some cocktails and bar bites.
We started with the San Gabriel, an upscale caiprihinia. I’m fond of the Avua cachacas and I thought the Prata was a good choice to go with the bergamot liqueur, Italicus as well as the aloe one, Chareu. It’s refreshing and unexpected.
San Gabriel – Avua Prata cachaca, Italicus, Chareu, kiwi, lime
For those who want to sip with their friends but without the booze, try the OTW Spritz. It’s a housemade non-alcoholic spritz. It is more on the bitter side which I suspect comes from the wormwood tea. But I do have a palate that enjoys bitter stuff (hello amaro lover!).
OTW Spritz – housemade non-alcoholic aperitif, chrysanthemum and wormwood tea, tonic
On the other hand, if you like sweet but not too sweet, the Arrowhead Trail is perfect. Nicknamed the Thai Iced Tea, the Arrowhead Trail does have Thai tea but along with a slew of rums and coconut cream. It a sophisticated tropical drink.
Arrowhead Trail – Bacardi 8-year-old rum, Bacardi 4-year-old rum, banana rum, Thai iced tea, coconut cream, Angostura bitters
I love lentils and this dip is so great! The texture reminded me of black bean dip. And the chips were so good. Sometimes you get chips that are stale but not here! We rapidly ran out of chips and just ate the dip straight with a fork. It’s that good!
For all you vodka lovers out there, here’s another “not too sweet” drink. Despite including vanilla and fruit (persimmon), it’s not at all fruity and cloying. Instead, it’s very balanced and I love that touch of Montenegro in it.
In Good Faith – Grey Goose vodka, Amaro Montenegro, all spice dram, vanilla, Fuyu persimmon, citrus
Like the chips, the fries were really awesome for the pork belly fries. It’s another item that could be whatever but with good ingredients, it’s like the best thing you ate all week (or all day). I did want bigger pieces of pork belly though I could see why the smaller dice was necessary. It’s more of a topping like bacon bits would be on a salad (the best part).
What’s the next best thing when you can’t have a frozen drink? A blue one, of course! This is a classy and sophisticated drink despite its fun color. The retro hue reminded me of 1960s pools. The color comes from Combier Bleu, a blue triple sec.
Acapulco Bleu – Arette reposado tequila, Combier Bleu, pineapple, lime
For dessert, we had the cutest little zeppole. These doughnuts were a good end to our bar bites meal.
The Holy Ghost is a Black Manhattan on a big rock. It’s a cross between a Mahanttan and an old fashioned whiskey cocktail. And I liked it very much as I’m a brown, bitter, stirred person. The rhubarb amaro is a nice balance of sweet and bitter.
Holy Ghost – Elijah Craig bourbon, Zucca Rabarbaro, Vervino vermouth
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