While in California, I did my best to emulate Kim Gordon’s dad in the drinking, if not the making of, cocktails.
Perhaps the most important stop was Musso and Frank, on Hollywood Boulevard, a place I always say is my favorite restaurant in the whole world, and I was there to raise a martini in memory of Ruben Rueda, late barman (and definitely not a mixologist) at that establishment.
2019 is Musso and Frank’s hundred year anniversary – I bought a badge to that effect:
1919 was also the year that Prohibition started and I would have thought it was a very bad year to open a restaurant but maybe it was in fact a very good year to do it.
I went there for Saturday lunch with my pal Scott. My martini looked like this:
I thought there might not be much of a bar crowd on a weekend lunchtime but I was wrong. Along with the martini, I had a French dip sandwich with some of the biggest potato chips I’ve ever seen:
Scott and I found an ebullient friend, name of Gloria. The man behind her is her long-suffering husband (and no, I don’t know what kind of relationship they have), and thought it best not to find out.
I was staying at the Biltmore downtown, where all kinds of movies and TV shows have been filmed, including Mad Men and not least National Treasure, a fact confirmed by this picture in my room, of Nick Cage and Diane Kruger.
The Biltmore also does a damn fine martini.
I went off to the desert and although the desert doesn’t scream ‘great martini’ I spent one night in Palm Springs where a bar called Zin served me a couple of more than adequate silver bullets. This was one made with Aviation gin and two olives.
This one was made with Botanist gin and three olives, and cost a dollar more than the previous one, and was worth it
In the course of my two drinks, the barman, named Jeremiah, and I discussed soccer, rugby, cricket, and the importance of giving children music lessons at the earliest impossible moment.
I also stayed a couple of nights in LA with my pals Anthony and Elina (and their young un Astra). Anthony is serious about many things, coffee, literature, and in this case the Trinidad Sour, made with rye whisky, lime juice and amazingly large quantities of Angostura bitters. Anthony looks like this while concocting:
And the concoction looked like this.