Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Viva Mezcal! (Los Angeles - Koreatown)


Flyer for the screening of a mezcal documentary.

I was lucky to have received an invitation courtesy of one [real food blogger] Javier Cabrales (The Glutster).  Gracias, 'mano! 


I had been meaning to eat at this Oaxacan restaurant for many years now but it's never really been too high on my list of places to go to to be honest with you.  Now, years later, it's still on my map, just not on my radar.  And even after this visit, I still can't claim to have eaten or even stepped foot inside.


See, the event was held in a backroom of sorts, complete with it's own private entrance.  I imagine the room is used for private parties or special events such as the one I was lucky enough to attend.

The scene halfway through the "screening."

I was under the impression, as I think most of us were, that we would sample mezcal, watch the flick and taste some more after the film.  As it turned out, Viva Mezcal! was played and simply there as background entertainment - volume low with captions.  I was a little disappointed but that didn't keep me from going from table to table and back again to try some fine mezcales.

Drinking vessel our mezcal was poured in.

One of the 7 brands that had as least one bottle to sample.

Another label, a couple more options to sample.

These guys weren't tight with their pours either.  Some brands were literally filling our vessels to the brim.  Some varieties of mezcal were alcohol-forward, others were smoke bombs and some were more nuanced.  In the end, no mezcal brand sucked.  One brand - Wahaka- brought 4 types of mezcal.  I enjoyed their product at varying degrees but I still found something that i thought excelled according to my tastes.  All in all, my favorite mezcal of the night was from Los Amantes Reposado.  It's a perfect sipper as-is or on the rocks.  It's not harsh on the throat and it's smokiness is tempered from having been oaked.  It sells for $65, if you can find it.

Tostadita de guacamole y chapulin.

There was food but only in the form of passed hor d'oeuvres.  The cricket tostada was my favorite.  

Shrimp beignets.

 My second favorite snack was this juicy shrimp fritter.  They also came around with a black bean and queso croqueta and a tostada de guacamole con papa but nothing was substantial enough to catch up to the mezcal onslaught we were facing.

The bar inside the private room.

Drink menu for the restaurant.

Restaurant cocktail menu pt 2.

Wolves of Summer featuring Montelobos Mezcal.

Drink menu for the special engagement.

Dragon de Fuego.

Of the cocktails we drank, this was my favorite.  It was strong enough for a guy, yet delicate enough for a female to enjoy as well.

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