Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Powwow Saloon (Downey)


The infamous saloon.

The bar.

Old Fashioned - Powwow style.

An Old Fashioned really only requires bourbon, simple syrup, bitters and citrus peel.  Now, the Powwow Saloon isn't exactly up to speed on the ever-evolving cocktail culture in L.A. but I figured EVERY bar should have bourbon, bitters and simple syrup.  Well, when I asked the sweet old lady if she knew how to make an Old Fashioned, she looked at me in bemusement.  Knowing full-well that citrus wasn't to be had at this bar, I told her it only required bourbon, bitters and a sweetener.  "Well, why didn't you just  say so, dear?  Suuure, I can make that for ya!" she exclaimed.  "Wow," I thought to myself.  Here I am, at the freakin' Powwow of all places, and I am about to have an Old Fashioned.  Who knew?!?  Well, my exuberance was short lived.  She asked which bourbon I wanted in my drink.  Her options were completely foreign to me.  Not because they were top shelf stuff but rather because they were so low-end.  I'm talking about generic as generic can be.  Anyway, she poured the questionable bourbon on the rocks and then brought the bottle of bitters.  Okay okay, we're almost there.  And then, she dropped it on me.  "Do you want sugar, [wack-ass artificially colored and flavored] grenadine or 7-up to sweeten it with?"  "Ohhhh hellllll naaaahhh," as they say around here.  No she didn't!  I asked her how they sweeten a persons drinks and she said usually with grenadine or soda.  Well I'll be...  She said that most of the drinks people order are already sweet or people don't care much; they just want to get wasted.  I hear you on that one!  I was shocked to learn that a simple thing such as simple syrup or a sugar cube wasn't to be found here.  I mean, I can see them not using it often.  But those are staples at any bar, are they not?  Evidently not.              

This is the kind of thing that sells around here.  They have another contraption that spits out some Jack Daniel's Honey "thing."  Ugghh.

Specials - if you wanna call 'em that.

Bloody Maria -  Well, not really.  The younger bartender took a bloody mary mix, added tequila, lime, celery salt and Tabasco sauce.  Hmmm.  I asked if they had Tapatio and she said yes.  So why not use that instead of the Tobasco?  Make your drinks somewhat proper, will ya?


The back door - where I made my quick inconspicuous exit.

To fully appreciate the better bars out there, you just have to experience some like these.  People might say that I am being unfair because I am comparing apples to oranges.  To a certain degree, I am.  But when you consider all of the mischief that takes place at night; the number of times fights break out, the number of visits from the police, the absolute jokers, gangsters, veteranos, wannabes and whores that frequent this place and all of the other baloney that goes on in the parking lot....   Nothing here makes me want to return.  Not even the sweet old lady bartender - Bless her heart.    

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