For over a decade, the innovative fraternal twin duo comprised of Jonnie and Mark Houston, founders of famed Houston Hospitality, have brought a unique and slightly vaudevillian sense of entertainment to the nightlife of Hollywood and beyond, something that even La La Land itself was once missing entirely. Going out on the town in Hollywood ten years ago was like night and day compared to 2018’s standards.
On the corner of Fremont and 6th Street, on what’s known as fabulous East Fremont in Downtown Las Vegas, the strip of unpretentious, yet masterful and reputable bars filled with a perfect mix of locals and tourist alike, you will find a long-standing and well-known neighborhood favorite, which is Commonwealth. Anyone who’s enjoyed an evening out with friends within their walls, or danced their inhibitions away upon their rooftop will tell you that Commonwealth is a must when it comes to your average Downtown Las Vegas bar crawl.
It’s only been a little over a week since we said farewell to The Bang Bang Bar pop-up, aka The Roadhouse, aka every Twin Peaks fan’s heaven on Earth, and we’re already missing every chevron striped, melancholy bit of it. Tucked behind Melrose Umbrella Company in the former Barbara Jean space, this wall to wall dining experience took Melrose Ave to the creative beyond. Paul Salem, who put on the Double R Diner pop-up at the old Johnny Rocket space down the street on Melrose back in October, put careful consideration into every gritty detail of the cult classic.
Yes, we know. Summer’s here, and it’s freaking hot. What is one to do in order to cool down on a sweltering July afternoon in Los Angeles when every move you make under the sun results in constant fatigue and a few not-so-sexy sweat patches that cause your clothes to stick to you like glue? Perhaps one finds some precious AC to bask in, perhaps one goes swimming. But, if you're anything like us, one finds a cold cocktail to sip on.
Hey all you lovebirds, cynics, and all the ooey gooey in between! Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day, (which is apparently totally a thing), or it’s just another Wednesday for you, we’ve got you covered! We concocted a few different love potions in the spirit of the largest consumerist holiday, to well, consume some spirits.
Happy New Year everyone! We don’t know about you, but we’ve spent the past few days reflecting on the year behind us, making (and already breaking) new resolutions, and nursing ourselves back to overall health. Although we’re sick and tired of Christmas music and tinsel, our winter munchies are still hanging tough. In other words, we notice the craving for the sweet flavors of the holidays still to be very present. So, what do you do to cure the post-holiday blues? Where do you go?
This year for the holidays, we wanted to share with you a little something of our own to put on a show with at your Secret Santa or Ugly Sweater Party. We had our own little get together and found that these tasty treats were an easy way to create an experience for our guests without breaking the bank. Also, with a little diversity at hand, there's something for everyone!
Giddy up jingle horse, pick up a drink! Another favorite stop of our holiday cocktail tour was The BoardRoom in Downtown LA. Their jazzy and slightly mysterious atmosphere took to a festive transformation this month into something still very jazzy, but also full of cheerful wonder. The library-esque, Speakeasy-style lounge is tucked within Kendall’s Brasserie and has been known to be home to live music, events, and even poetry readings. In a small, dimly lit sanctuary of poinsettias and pine, we sat and enjoyed something frosty.
Since we’re knee deep in holiday cheer over here at A Cocktail of Two Cities, we’ve been putting our heads together (obviously clad in Santa hats), to seek out some of our favorite holiday cocktails throughout Los Angeles. In doing so, we came across festive fare all hiding within the walls of some familiar places. For the next few days leading up to Christmas Eve, we’ll be sharing with you a spot each day where you can get into the spirit with your favorite spirits. The big day is right ahead of us, so allow us to give you a few hints as to where to kick back and knock back your jingle jangle in the meantime.
As the cold creeps slowly into the Las Vegas Valley, many of us desert-goers are absolutely freezing our butts off. Growing up in Las Vegas, you learn relatively quickly that what you may think is cold, is nothing compared to a lot of what the rest of the country, or the world, for that matter, experiences during this lovely time of year. As some of us cling to our Americanos and toasty peppermint lattes, many of us weekend warriors look for something more than just a great dark roast blend as we set out for relaxation.
Ah, Grappa, the true spirit of Italy. Yes, Grappa, a spirit malleable enough, yet extremely distinct when mixed into a cocktail. Also, being a bold sipper on the rocks, or a fantastic companion to a well-paired meal, what could be more inviting?
What ever happened to the good old days of watching Sunday morning cartoons accompanied by a bowl of your favorite fruity pebbles and the dull roar of Mom's vacuum? You’d sit on the sofa in your PJ’s, the sound of a full orchestra blaring from the tv set while Tom and Jerry scurried playfully, yet vengefully, about their domain....
Calling all Negroni Week participants! Today we spent some time at The Corner Door in Los Angeles to geek out and enjoy their take on the Negroni Week festivities. Every day of this week, they'll be showcasing a new Star Wars themed surprise, cleverly titled in homage to Episodes 1-7, all in the fashion of a Negroni, of course. Grab a lightsaber and call your favorite Jedi, and treat yourself this week!
A Word with the Bartender
If you’ve ever spent an early San Francisco afternoon with time to kill at The Buena Vista Cafe, you’ll know the true glory of their most coveted item, their famous Irish Coffee. Lined up in rows of twenty, even almost thirty heated, six-ounce glasses that are precisely built from the bottom up, the legend of The Buena Vista Irish Coffee was created with careful consideration of ingredients, close attention to detail, and masterful precision, all to flourish in a demanding, high-volume environment.
On a beautiful 70 something Tuesday afternoon, we headed out to Culver City to do something a little different than what we’re used to and go behind the scenes with a new friend of ours, Shawn Lickliter, who’s the Bar Program Director at République in Hancock Park.
We recently had the opportunity to join Herradura Tequila at Trunk Club in Culver City a couple weeks ago for a night of vibrant craft cocktails, joyful conversation, and a chance for ten talented bartenders to give us a taste what the had up their sleeves. Everyone loves a good competition, and every single one of these skilled virtuosos brought something unique to the table, literally.
We pulled up a seat at the bar with Kevin Gorham to learn all about and him and how he found himself behind the bar and menu of this ever-changing establishment.
If you ask a Las Vegas local, or just about anyone who frequents the Arts District area what some of their favorite bars may be, just about everyone will list Velveteen Rabbit within the first few seconds.
Quietly nestled just a few miles off of the strip lies a subtle diamond in the rough and local favorite, Herbs & Rye. It may not appear very impressionable from the outside, but one step inside and you may as well have turned back time.
Behind the spirits
National Rum Day only comes but once a year, and this year, Los Angeles rejoiced with Rumming Around Los Angeles, an organized bar crawl including seven of the most beloved bars in the city. Each spot presented a special Rum Day featuring Bacardi, Havana Club, Santa Teresa, Banks Rums, and Leblon Cachaça. Let’s take a look shall we?
If you didn’t already know, gin is hands down one of our very favorite spirits. Versatile, flavorful, and sometimes downright powerful, not only does gin have a bright future, but a remarkably interesting past as well.
We would like to share with you one of our new favorite products on the market, VIVA XXXII Tequila. With both expert quality and an extremely reasonable price point, founder Yvonne Niami created VIVA XXXII in order to bring a vibrant, high-quality tequila to the market that didn't cost an arm and a leg. What she procured were two exquisite blends, versatile enough to taste great neat or mixed into a cocktail, all without too hefty of a price.
We gathered at Bar Clacson last Tuesday to observe the world’s first grappa mixology competition. The Gra’it Challenge, a chance for ten bartenders in each challenge city to show what kind of concoction they can whip up with the first authentic Italian grappa distilled specifically for mixed drinks, Gra’it Grappa. This brought some of the most diverse bartenders and mixologist in Los Angeles together for a chance to become of of the 7 winners to enjoy an all-inclusive 10 day tour of Italy as guests of the Bonollo family.
Whiskey vs whisky, ah the good ol’ debate. Years ago the New York Times was bombarded with angry readers that fought that they were spelling it whiskey, when it should have been whisky.
Bourbon, Gins, Whiskey, Tequila, Vodka...We don't descriminate, we love it all! Our top choices of spirits to get you in the spirit!
Fine cognac and enjoy an invite-only tasting for Remy Martin. Arranged in walkthrough fashion, an educational experience from beginning to end, this installation had it all when it comes to dimension, vision, and way of captivating the senses
2018 marks the first year that Bevcon touched down in our fair city. Beginning in Charleston, SC in 2016 as the passion project of Angel Postell, owner of Sipindipity, Bevcon was created to pull all corners of the beverage industry together under one canopy in an accessible and exciting way. The immersive, three-day experience was filled with learning sessions pertaining to the growth of the beverage industry and everything in between, beverage demonstrations, and pop-up afterparties hosted at some of Los Angeles’ most beloved drinking holes.
We’ve teamed up with Bacardi and Lono Hollywood to have a little fun for National Rum Punch Day on September 20th. One lucky follower will win a Jungle Bird Punch Bowl to enjoy at Lono with 2-3 friends on Rum Punch Day, as well as a 750mL bottle of Bacardi Reserva Ocho 8yr Rum, and a gorgeous leather Bacardi doctor bag filled with two Yarai mixing glasses and two bar spoons.
We joined Sourced Craft Cocktails for yet another fantastic weekend filled with music, art, and plenty of delicious cocktails at Vestal Village at Bolsa Chica State Beach! Check out some out the highlights we captured and we'll be looking forward to drinking with you next time!
Last week we ventured high above the Las Vegas strip, 64 floors to be exact, for a night that since last year's festivities, we've anxiously anticipated. For the Love of Cocktails presented by Back Bar USA is an annual, charity-driven celebration where mixologists from all over the Vegas Valley present their masterpieces to an audience of enthusiasts much like ourselves during a Grand Gala of inventive and downright delectable cocktails, gourmet bites, and one of the most memorable parties you could ask for. If you pace yourself, that is. After all, what better party guests to share a night with than people who know their booze? And for a good cause? Didn't have to twist our arms.
Here in Los Angeles, there are only a few weekends a year where the streets aren’t filled with nearly as much hustle and bustle as we’re used to and it’s just a bit easier to find a parking spot at your neighborhood Bevmo.
Here we have a few of our favorite bars and what they're rolling out for Negroni Week! We hand picked each bar based on who was pulling off the most interesting and enjoyable variations.
A little over a week ago, we arrived at Delano Las Vegas around dusk, and were taken up in an elevator to Skyfall Lounge. Towering high above the strip, we realized we were walking into an event with no real inkling of what we were getting ourselves into, other than a night of celebration.
So many of us share the privilege of having clean water available to us whenever we need it. While the fortunate sip upon our twelve dollar cocktails on a evening out, there are people without a drop to even wet their lips.
May we start off by saying to all you powerful babes out there, happy International Women's Day.
We found ourselves four weeks into 2017 and already in desperate need of a vacation. So what else could we do other than take two days to enjoy ourselves and drop into lush Seattle, WA to kick off the year?