Friday, February 18, 2011

No. 190: Tasting a "Mai Tai" @ Library Bar (Hollywood)

While more than half the country is bundling in layers, keeping their furnace on full blast and generally freezing their butts off, here in LA we get to complain about the occasional drizzles, temperature dipping below 50F, and how all those award shows are disrupting our usual commutes.

Oh, and we get to hold Mai Tai making contests too!

For the past 3 weeks, Los Angeles magazine has held a mixoff amongst 9 of the top bartenders in town, with 3 finalists mixing off in a showdown next week @ the Supperclub.

As much as I would love to visit all 9 bars; alas, I only managed to squeeze in a checkout of Library Bar @ the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (and that's only because I had dinner plans in that hotel's restaurant that night.)

Recipe Flyer
And as expected, bar master Matt Biancaniello - known for his farmer's market bar setup with plenty of fresh herbs, fruits and veggies next to housemade bitters and syrups - took the ubiquitous tropical drink to a whole new level, with a nine-ingredient concoction aptly named Lost in Laos . . .
Lost in Laos
. . . which he described as "a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada making love on the islands of Thailand." However geographically challenged, it was a delightful cocktail that definitely pushes the standard boundaries of a Mai Tai. Using ginger & pistachio syrups and lime juice in lieu of the orgeat, it was also given an aromatic boost with green Chartreuse, kaffir lime zest plus basil and curry leaves, rounded out with coconut milk for some richness.

And upon sipping, I can smell and taste Matt's colorful description -- with the fragrance of a Thai green curry and the creamy-tangy flavor profile of the pina colada, finishing off with a pleasant linger of nutty & spicy aftertastes, provoking me to take another sip. Mmmm...

Of course, don't take my word for it, give it a try yourself @ The Library Bar. And while you're at it, check out the versions whipped up by Joe Brooke @ the Edison and Naomi Schimek @ First & Hope, the two other contenders this week, with the winner facing off against Spare Room's Aidan Demarest & La Descarga's Adrian Biggs. And your vote also gets you a chance to win a Hawaii vacation! Mai tai included, of course.


Aer Conditionat said...

This drink looks so yummy. And I too love the description of “a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada making love on the islands of Thailand”. That is just beautiful. I’m going to try some drinks at the Library Bar.


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