Much like we're always advising you on where you should be eating, we also keep an eye out for places you might want to try when you're in the mood for a more, shall we say, liquid meal.
If you're looking to step outside your comfort zone, or at least order something more daring than tried-and-true vodka tonic, discover an adventurous cocktail at these bold bars.
Still looking for a way to get more veggies in your diet? Order The Shepard at Bolsa, which features arugula in addition to Mount Gay extra old rum, lime, and — wait for it — goats milk yogurt syrup.
Lark on the Park
Master bartender Matt Orth doesn't shy away from ingredients that raise an eyebrow, and that includes snap pea vodka. Yes, there is such a thing, and in a drink called The Allardyce it's paired with Meyer lemon olive oil, fino sherry, Dolin blanc vermouth, and citrus, which may make it sound more like a salad than a libation.
Playboy has touted this basement boîte as one of the best in the country, and its cheeky menu helps back up the claim. Besides such whimsically named concoctions as the Machete Supreme and the Pinetop Perker, there lurks a shot unlike any other in town. We're talking about the Pho-King Champ, a hearty mixture of wheat vodka, oloroso sherry, cilantro leaf, and beef stock. Soup or shot ... or maybe a little bit of both?
This chic spot has one of the best happy hours in town — whenever it rains, the bar makes it rain cheap drinks — but it also has a cocktail that serves up mystical properties in liquid form. Owner Eddie "Lucky" Campbell discovered deer antler extract in a raw foods restaurant and has since used the serum to develop The Jing. The extract is thought to give your well-being a boost, and its funky flavor is tempered with Suntory Japanese whiskey, five-spice bitters, vanilla, lemon peel, and quinquina (which tastes similar to cherry vermouth). A few shavings of actual deer antler top it all off, just in case alcohol in general isn't lifting your spirits enough.
A sophisticated menu presents smashing versions of standard cocktails, but there is one creation that stands out. The Oil & Vinegar starts with Hendrick's gin, then plays on its earthy base with strawberry ginger puree, balsamic vinegar, and basil oil. We'd ask again if this one falls under the category of salad or spirits, but our taste buds aren't bothered by either answer.