We don't usually bring up bars in this review blog, leaving that to more experienced imbibers, but sometimes a local place needs some words.
Located a hop, skip and a stagger away from the Gelson's on Hyperion, this used to be the icky but danceable Zen Sushi. It's since been bought by the owners of the Bungalow Club on Melrose, and expertly re-wrought with an eye toward kitsch and vibe. The furniture is all brass-studded black leather, and wallpaper of a "reclining nude sketches" design spans one wall. Corseted women and their tattoos zip past, bearing drinks.
Sit at the bar or on one of the kilometer-long black sofas. If there isn't a DJ playing on the tiny balcony above, the speakers might be spouting "Purple Haze" or "Edge of Seventeen" or "Up on Cripple Creek". People gather in small, busy groups, suppressing their pretension for the evening.
The Barbarella Bar has a bevy of unusual beers, delineated by the highly-useful categories of Lager, Malty, Hoppy, Yeasty and Spicy, Fruity and Herbaceous.
The cocktails have the expected names but are superbly crafted. The Key Lime Pie is vanilla vodka, Licor 43, coconut rum, lime juice, and a dash of créme. The head-nodding touch of approval is the glass rim dipped in crushed graham cracker, adding a pie-bottom sweetness. Good God, this one is sneaky.
There's also a Paradise Beach, a dangerously chicky drink but I don't care. With Malibu rum, Captain Morgan, banana and melon liquors, pineapple juice and some crème to even it all up, it is a pale, creamy, elegant, fruity exaltation. I have my grass skirts on back order.
I haven't experimented with the menu yet, but it seems to be more than hot wings; there are Cheese Empanadas, Avocado Egg Rolls, et cetera, but I'll have to tell you about that when we wander back in there with the munchies. Call us up after a light dinner and we'll go.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park )
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