Once again, the illustrious L.A. Blogger, Caroline Pardilla of Caroline on Crack, and legendary cocktail barman, Aidan Demarest, put together an epic evening of food, libations, and fun for a lucky handful of writers. This year's Blogger Barhop was generously sponsored by Los Angeles' very own Mezcal El Silencio and the esteemed attendees included Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Lanee Lee, Jason Horn (The Messy Epicure), Esther Tseng (e*star LA), Aaron Tell (The Savory Hunter), Daniel Djang (Thirsty in LA), and Matthew Kang (Mattatouille).
The evening started beautifully in the skillful hands of the new Beverage Manager at Sunset Marquis, David Whitton (of Villain's Tavern fame). He eased us into the evening at Tiki by the Poolside- which cleverly becomes a detoxifying juice bar in the morning- with a Cruciform (Smith and Cross Navy Rum, Selva Rey Blanco, Fresh Lime, Bartlett/Anjou Syrup, and Salted Pear). He then brought us into Bar 1200 (aka The Whiskey Lounge) for two delicious versions of an Old Fashioned: the traditional Old Fashioned (Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old, Organic Sugar, Bitters, Lemon Oils, and Orange Oils), and Bittersweet (Elijah Craig, Organic Sugar, Angostura & Grapefruit Bitters, Lemon Oils, and Grapefruit Oils).
Fortified, we moved to the hotel's restaurant, Cavatina, where we were treated to scrumptious bites from Chef Roger Eggleston's (pictured above right, with Dave Whitton) menu including Crostini with Homemade Ricotta and Truffle Honey, and Grilled Spanish Octopus with Black Chickpea Puree, Fresno Chiles, Olives, and Parsley. At this point, I was pretty much just enjoying myself and failing to take notes on exactly what we were eating, but there was burrata with greens that made me do a little happy dance, a really savory pea soup "shot," something wonderful with large chunks of a sea creature with claws, and fabulous cauliflower. I stopped short of the little burgers they brought out, but the sounds of happiness around me let me know that they were tasty, as well.
The deliciousness was complemented by an array of cocktails off their newly launched menu, like Cayland (El Silencio Mezcal, Fresh Lemon, Tumeric, Ginger Root, and a pinch of Cayanne), Tobacco Road (Stolen Coffee and Cigarettes Rum, Rittenhouse 100, Blackberries, Cranberry, Fresh Lemon, and Smoked Lemon Oils), and Eyeowa (Templeton's Rye, Basil, Fresh Citrus, Sugar Gum, Peychaud's Bitters, and a bramble of Strawberries topped on a bed of shaved ice). I think I speak for everyone when I say we would have happily stayed there all night, but other good times awaited. At last Dave could stop making our fabulous drinks and enjoy some with us elsewhere.
From Sunset Marquis, we ambled over to Petit Ermitage. Suffice it to say, we've all had excellent experiences there, but this wasn't one of them. Moving on...
Ubers whisked us away to The Standard, which ended up being way more fun than I could have anticipated. Not only did we get to inhabit the poolside teepee and have our way with the pingpong table, but the El Silencio Silent Devil (El Silencio Mezcal, Tomato Juice, Muddled Red Bell Pepper, Ginger Liqueur, Tabasco) they made us was quite enjoyable, as were the fried goodies we had to eat. Winning.
Cut to a most entertaining Uber ride, with an aging Eastern European driver who sorely misread the crowd and started "bumping the beats" so loudly my teeth rattled. "I think I'm in hell," whispered the writer beside me (or maybe she yelled it, I couldn't tell), which kept me laughing all the way to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Oh here, enjoy some hotel pools:
We headed to the Tropicana Pool Bar where Aidan demonstrated some surprising dance moves and I practiced the robot...poorly. It was at this point in the evening, while shooting El Silencio out of plastic cups, that I realized I needed to stop drinking. A shame, really, since the next stop was the exemplary cocktail bar, The Spare Room. At least it's a beautiful space that's easy to enjoy even while throwing back waters. And there, the dance party continued.
That was the last official stop, and from there people scattered. I was one of the 'early' returners, getting back to the Marquis around 1:30 in the morning. I was also one of the hangers-on...Caroline, Lesley, and I shared a room while Aidan and Matthew shared another.
The room, incidentally, was beautiful.
The next morning brought those of us who remained to a lovely brunch at Cavatina followed by a rejuvenating visit to the juice bar by the pool where we went ahead and tried pretty much every juice they had available. My favorites were the AWAKE (Kale, Ginger, Beet, Lemon, Carrot, Himalayan Salt) and ENERGY (Carrot, Apple, Ginger, Celery, Olive Oil). That ought to cure what ails you.
Read Lanee's account of the evening by clicking here.
(Home of Cavatina, Bar 1200, Tiki by the Pool, and the juice bar)
1200 Alta Loma Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069
8822 Cynthia Street
West Hollywood, CA 90069
THE STANDARD HOLLYWOOD
8300 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(Home of Tropicana and The Spare Room)
7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028