Thursday, February 09, 2017

Birds & Bees (Los Angeles, CA)

Birds and Bees Bar
207 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Thu 02/09/2017, 10:20p-12:20a

Birds & Bees Entrance

After enjoying dinner at the new Wolfdown in Silver Lake, we headed Downtown to one of LA's newest bars, a subterranean joint located underneath the Broadway Media Center complex (enter via the stairway at the northeast corner of the parking lot). Birds & Bees opened on January 28th, and is the work of former finance guy Dev Desai and his childhood friend Ankur Desai. The two brought on Marcos Tello to consult on the place, while day-to-day, Bethany Ham (The Corner Door) serves as Bar Manager while Nikki Sunseri (Las Perlas) is GM.

Birds & Bees Interior
Birds & Bees was penned by Raveled Studio, the local firm behind the likes of Mikkeller Bar, Boomtown Brewery, Arts District Brewing, Preux & Proper, and Plan Check. It's a 1950s-ish, lounge-y type space, but with some grit, spanning nearly 3,000 square-feet and holding about 120 patrons.

Birds & Bees Menu Birds & Bees Menu Cover
As for the menu (loved that graphic design), you get a short list of revamped, reimagined, '50s-inspired classics, along with a few Old World wines and a handful of uneventful beers. Click for larger versions.

Desi Arnaz
Desi Arnaz [$14.00] | Rum, Chinese Five-Spice Cordial, Crème de Peche, Pineapple, Lime
We began with a spiced daiquiri of sorts, a variation on the Hotel Nacional. I got lots of stone fruit and citrus at first blush to go with the rum, while the lime added an ever-persistent tartness. The crux, though, was the Chinese-y wuxiang fen, which imparted a layer of aromatic spice to the drink.

Doris Day
Doris Day [$14.00] | Bourbon, Honey, Lemon, Matcha Tea Foam
Next up was a take on the modern classic that is the Gold Rush. It was probably the most fascinating cocktail we had this evening, with an effective marriage of sweet and sour finished by the bitterness of the green tea. Texturally, the foam provided a point of interest as well that I enjoyed.

El Diablo
El Diablo [$14.00] | Mezcal, Ginger, Lime, B&B House Cassis
The El Diablo cocktail usually features tequila, but Birds & Bees' version incorporated mezcal instead. This made for a smokier, weightier drink, but one balanced by the zestiness of ginger and the refreshing nature of the crème de cassis.

50-50 Martini
50-50 Martini
One of my fellow drinkers requested this 50/50 martini, which ostensibly uses equal parts of gin and dry vermouth. Unfortunately I didn't get to try it, but he seemed pretty happy with the result.

Korla Pandit
Korla Pandit [$14.00] | Butternut Squash-infused Rum, Masala-infused Cognac, Orange Liqueur, Lemon
Here we had a riff on the classic Between the Sheets. The addition of butternut squash and masala imparted a bit of an exotic edge to the cocktail, and I liked the shard of candy on the rim, which could be tossed into the drink to impart further sweetness.

Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald [$14.00] | Gin, Dry Vermouth, Pickle Juice, Fino Sherry
A martini replete with pickle juice and sherry was very dirty indeed, showcasing bountiful amounts of pickle-y brine evened out just a smidge by the sherry. I definitely appreciated the sidecar, which came with its own garnishes of onion, cornichon, and green bean.

Chocolate Soldier
Chocolate Soldier [$14.00] | Cognac, Dry Vermouth, Crème de Cacao, Cynar, Bitters
Last up was the Chocolate Soldier, this particular preparation featuring Cynar. Think decidedly boozy, bittersweet, with the vermouth coming to the forefront before things transitioned to a slightly sweeter side thanks to the crème de cacao.

Birds & Bees made for an agreeable end to the evening. The cocktails worked, and had their own charms, and I appreciated the vibe of the place, which was on the more relaxed side (hopefully it stays like that). The idea is to have the menu change seasonally, so it'll be nice to see how things progress.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just FYI, the vibe of the place completely changes on a Saturday night past say 10pm or so and is not that laid back.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No food...

Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Anon: Ah that reminds me why I tend not to visit bars during "peak" hours.

Anon: I suppose the garnishes on the Ella Fitzgerald could technically found as food...

Friday, March 10, 2017 4:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is that garnish on the Doris Day?

Monday, March 13, 2017 10:20:00 AM  

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