Monday, December 15, 2008

Stroll Down to BLVD 16

In Los Angeles, we have many famous streets: Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, Ocean Avenue, Rodeo Drive. Heck, even Abbott Kinney has become a destination! But there is one BLVD that should be added to your map of LA, if you haven’t ‘taken a spin’ around Westwood, lately.

I’m already a huge fan of the San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotel Group: eco-friendly guest rooms and restaurants, stylish and sleek design (without becoming too pretentious) and the Kimpton hotel bars are always a happening scene, in any city. When I lived in Washington DC, in 2005, I became well acquainted with Kimpton, and particularly with Poste, Hotel Monaco’s restaurant. One of the amazing things Poste’s Executive Chef Robert Weland implemented at that time was an organic herb garden in the restaurant’s courtyard. The herbs were used both in the kitchen - and in Poste’s revolutionary cocktail program. (This is also where I first met one of my favorite DC bartender / mixologists, Gina Chersevani who was creating fab drinks with said herbs.)

So, when I got down to BLVD 16, here in LA's Hotel Palomar, three years later, and found that Executive Chef Simon Dolinky has a rooftop garden (atop the 19-story building with panoramic views sweeping across Westwood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica), I was thrilled! Chef Dolinky’s eye toward sustainability graces not only the tantalizing treats on his menu in the BLVD 16 restaurant but he also keeps the bar stocked with organic basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint.

(Sneak Peek: Keep your healthy New Year resolutions with three veggie cocktails debuting in January featuring organic produce from the rooftop!)

The bar’s cocktails change seasonally, as any self-respecting bar program should. For the next two weeks, you can still enjoy The Great Pumpkin (rum, frangelico, licor 43, canton ginger liqueur and graham cracker crusted rim), The Apple Jack (teamed Apple Cider, Jack Daniels, Cinnamon Syrup) or the Chamomile Hot Toddy (Aperi-Tea Chamomile-Mango Tuacca and Brandy with a squeeze of Honey and a Cinnamon stick).

In addition to their regular cocktail menu, BLVD is featuring three Red Ribbon Campaign cocktails through December priced at $12 each, with $1 per drink benefiting AIDS Project LA (from left to right)
  • Scarlet Night (1.75 oz Bacardi Rum, 1.5 oz White Peach Puree, .25 oz Fresh Lime Juice, Orange Wedge, .5 oz Campari Liqueur)
  • Rouge on the Rocks (1.75 oz Milagro Blanco Tequila, 1oz Grand Marnier Liqueur, .5 oz Fresh Lime Juice, .25 oz Simple Syrup, 4 Mint Leaves, 6 Raspberries)
  • Ruby Sparkle (1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka, 1 oz Grand Marnier Liqueur, .5 oz Pomegranate Juice/Pom Wonderful, .25oz Fresh Lime Juice, Sparkling Wine )
I don’t usually include a whole cocktail list from a bar, but I find BLVD’s impressive enough to list, below, in its entirety. Stroll yourself down to the Hotel Palomar for holiday celebrations – maybe New Year’s Eve. There are many streets in LA but only a few boulevards lead to exceptional cocktails.
  • BLVD 16 Tarragon infused Vodka, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Citrus Juice $10
  • Watermelon Cooler Grey Goose l’Orange, Cointreau, Watermelon, Cranberry Juice $12
  • Pacific Breeze Basil Infused Vodka, Cucumber, Lime Juice $10
  • The Sunrise Square One Organic Vodka infused with Lemon and Ginger, Mandarin Napoleon, Cranberry Juice, Nigori Sake $14
  • Lady in Red Ketel One Citroen, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Fresh Strawberries, Lemon Juice $12
  • Maggie’s Milagro Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Jalapeno $11
  • The Sunset Cruzan Pineapple Rum, Fresh Pineapple, Fresh Mint, Lime Juice $10
  • Gin Surprise Vanilla Infused Gin, Black Mission Figs, Apple Juice $11
  • Raspberry Side Car Hennessy Cognac, Chambord, Cointreau, Lemon Juice $14
  • Square One Sensation Square One Organic Vodka, Chambord, Canton Ginger Liquor, Cucumber Simple Syrup $12
  • Manhattan Jet Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Licor 43, peychaud Bitters, Honey $12

1 comment:

Camels & Chocolate said...

The Kimpton Group seems to have the monopoly on hotels up here in the Bay Area.

And I wish I lived in LA if only to try that Great Pumpkin drinks! My biggest weakness in life is anything pumpkin--in fact, I just finished baking pumpkin monkey bread! =)