NoHo Arts District neighborhoodies are benefiting from the boredom of Liquid Assets cocktail consultants Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello. At the new Bow and Truss restaurant, which just opened this week on Magnolia Boulevard, the pair thought outside the box for the cocktail program. After doing eight bars in five years, which include The Raymond Pasadena’s 1886 Bar and Hollywood Roosevelt’s Spare Room, they were challenged by what else they could possibly do.
Fortunately in North Hollywood, they didn’t have to worry about competition. “We didn’t have to worry about Seven Grand being down the block. There’s nothing here. There’s not a good drink anywhere,” said Aidan. But he wasn’t about to “lower the bar to the neighborhood.” Not that he thinks it’s a bad neighborhood, mind you since he actually lives in the area. “There are smart, cool people that live around me, but I told everyone here [at the restaurant] that the term ‘For the Valley’ needed to come out of everyone’s dialog.”
So what Marcos and Aidan created with the help of 1886’s Garrett McKechnie is what Aidan calls “the best sherry drinks, the best drink list that’s dropped in the city in the last six months.” With consideration for the spicy flavors of dishes like the paella and stuffed piquillos, they created a sherry-focused menu possessing “musky flavor profiles.” Yes, sherry.
Aidan and Marcos purposely took the cocktails in a direction away from the expected tequila. “We’re not trying to duplicate Rivera. Marcos started thinking about sherry which took us in this whole Euro-centric way. Madrid, Sevilla, they don’t really have cocktails, they’re not a cocktail-centric culture. So our spin on it was an ex-patriot was in Madrid but was used to drinking ’20s and ’30s cocktails. Which is why we had spins on swizzles and daiquiris done with sherry which is very British and also Spanish.”
But don’t mistake these as “frou-frou sherry cocktails.” Case in point, the DeCelis Daiquiri with medium sherry, rum, lime and spice can stand up nicely to any of the Spanish-influenced dishes created by Bow and Truss Executive Chef Stefhanie Meyers (Rivera, Playa, The Federal Bar) and chef consultant Shad Davis.
“For the Valley” Prices?
Thanks to Aidan’s experience of running his own bar Neat in Glendale, he’s aware that the average consumer will expect to pay less in the Valley. So the Bow and Truss cocktails are about $12, which isn’t considered low for the area but it is low considering the ingredients used. “It’s as low as I could go. They should be $16,” said Aidan. “There’s Stoli Elit in there, there’s Milagro, so it’s actually the best bang for your buck.”
The draft beer offerings, which were handpicked by Tony Cicero (The Federal Bar), aren’t exactly on the cheapie end either as they range from $5 Estrella to $8 Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru, but beer geeks will probably just be glad to find a Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout on tap or a bottled Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA to care.
North Hollywood may be far for most L.A. drinkers to venture for fear of an expensive cab ride back, but you could always do what the Spanish do and snack to pass the time til you’re sober. Thanks to a beautiful restaurant designed by Beth Holden of New Theme Inc. and a food menu boasting a delicious cheese board, a hearty seafood paella and savory tacos, sticking around will be easy to do.
By the way, boozing dog lovers will be happy to hear that Bow and Truss does allow patrons to drink with their dogs on the outdoor patio out front. The restaurant will even provide water dishes for your furry friends!