It’s the warm flavors of the fall season that energize a restaurant’s overall ambiance, menu and presentation. Sweet autumnal ingredients are at the top of the list when mixologists and bartenders begin to create specialty drink menus. Think apples, pears molasses, nutmeg and cinnamon when ordering your next cocktail. These five Los Angeles restaurants are the must-visits of the season.
9575 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Picca or “nibble” is L.A.’s go-to for tapas dining. The Peruvian cantina’s menu pairs perfectly with mixologist Julian Cox’s seasonal cocktail creations. Apple Bottom Jeans is a perfect taste of autumn. Created with Bonded apple brandy, Don’s mix (blend of two parts grapefruit juice and one part cinnamon-infused simple syrup), sweet Peruvian chicha morada, Gala apple juice, fresh citrus and dry Curacao, this drink warms the heart. While sipping on a cocktail, visit Picca’s signature items by Chef Ricardo Zarate including anticucho black cod (miso anticucho with crispy sweet potato), snow crab causa and crispy quinoa ensalada (miso-roasted vegetable medley with feta cider vinaigrette).
Next Door by Josie
2420 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
When you dine at Next Door by Josie (literally right next door to Josie), Chef Josie Le Balch’s first restaurant, the unique hand-crafted cocktails are something to talk about. The more casual Next Door by Josie created Colleen’s Fall-ing Down, a drink featuring the warm tones of whiskey, stout and amaretto sprinkled with some sweetness. The special beverage served in a cinnamon sugar-rimmed old fashioned glass is made with Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, green chartreuse, amaretto, Coronado Brewing Company’s Blue Bridge coffee stout and Kahlua, and is garnished with an orange twist and cinnamon stick. The restaurant’s traditional bar offers a full selection of both artisan and traditional spirits, craft beers and wines by the glass, too. Non-alcoholic beverages are available as well.
6333 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The short order of Short Order is how founders Amy Pressman and Bill Chait, along with Chef Christian Page, have created a fast-casual restaurant and menu crafted with locally raised, organic, artisanal and handmade ingredients. Think burgers, melts and fries, and a cocktail menu designed by highly regarded mixologists Julian Cox and Josh Goldman. Their vision brings interesting ingredients that leave quite the impression. Check out Flip, Flop & Fly made with Cana Brava aged rum, coconut milk, lemongrass, lime, Smith & Cross float and the special touch of freshly grated nutmeg.
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Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Napa Valley Grille’s warm and inviting restaurant space is perfect for hosting drinks after work, or for a celebratory dinner. For every season, Executive Chef Taylor Boudreaux and General Manager Tracy Thayer create a menu that reflects the ingredients that are readily available. For autumn, guests are invited to savor the sweet and spicy notes in a glass of Napa Valley Grille’s very own Red Apple Orchard Sangria. This cocktail features Ravenswood Shiraz, brandy and apple juice highlighted by cinnamon. The Grille’s happy hour menu complements with root vegetable chips, stuffed Anaheim peppers, turkey meatballs in a tomato fondu and white cheddar and, of course, the not-to-be-missed short-rib sliders.
1050 S. Flower St., Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90015
This dynamic downtown LA restaurant thrills guests with its authentic Latin cuisine. Whether you are stopping by for happy hour or dinner, a menu-favorite drink to start with is the Autumn Sour. Conceived by mix-master Julian Cox, this “artisan-to-glass” drink creation enjoys d’anjou pear-infused rye whiskey, Bonded Apple brandy, lemon, cinnamon bark syrup and egg white and is garnished with dehydrated apple chips. Happy hour tastes feature stuffed Spanish peppers, olives marinated in New Mexico red and chilies, arepa corn cake with apricot BBQ shrimp and the house corn chowder.
Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.