Vodka, from the Slavic word “voda” means “water.” It is the most popular distilled spirit found in cocktails and is essential to every bar. Vodka is popular because its general characteristic is that it has no discernible or distinct flavor or smell and is often clear, so it allows the other ingredients that it is mixed with to be the focal point. Some of the most popular cocktails such as the Screwdriver and Cosmopolitan are made with vodka. National Vodka Day was on Oct. 4, but why just celebrate it for one day? Why not the entire month of October? This Best of LA list is dedicated to LA’s best vodka bars and some of the city’s most interesting vodka cocktails.
Nic’s VODBox inside Nic’s Beverly Hills
453 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
You can’t have a list on vodka bars without Nic’s VODBOX inside Nic’s Beverly Hills. This iconic, walk-in, drink-in freezer is for you and your friends to enjoy vodka like you would in Russia or Poland’s climate, taste some of their best vodkas and get educated on this spirit. Before entering the VODBOX, guests are provided with faux fur coats/hats, escorted into the 28°F (-2°C) freezer, and Nic’s vodka expert will spend about 15 minutes with each group (up to 12 people).
Silo Vodka Bar
221 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
If you live closer to Downtown LA, Silo’s Vodka Bar is the place to go. They carry more than 140 types of vodka from all over the world, including some great American varieties and also feature up to a dozen house-made infusions, with unique combinations, like Chili-Mango. One of the most unique features of Silo is their “Silo Freezer” vodka tasting room where customers could try a variety of more exclusive bottles and have a unique vodka drinking experience without having to fly to Europe.
7702 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Bar Lubitsch is a neighborhood Russian-themed vodka bar with bartenders and waitresses in interesting and themed red Soviet uniforms. There is no freezer in this bar but they still have an extensive vodka list with delicious and unique vodka cocktails.
The Musso and Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
This made the list because of its rich Hollywood history. The Musso and Frank Grill opened in 1919 and is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. The movers and shakers of the Hollywood entertainment industry would make deals here as they sipped on the famous Musso martinis. So if you want to taste a classic, historical and timeless martini (gin or vodka) this is definitely the place to go.
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Internationally known, award-winning Chef Jose Andres brought The Bazaar to Los Angeles with the unique food. However, their cocktails deserve recognition too. While Musso and Frank represents history, The Bazaar’s cocktails reminds you of the future with their use of innovative molecular gastronomy techniques. Don’t expect to find a regular olive in your martini. Their “New Way” Dirty Martini comes with olive “spherification”… it looks and tastes like one but with intense flavor as you consume it. Other unique drinks include their “Magic” Mojito made with fresh cotton candy.