What To Drink at Chi Lin Restaurant

— by Caroline on Crack

Chi Lin Punch cocktail by Caroline on Crack

Chi Lin Punch:  Hennessey VS, Licor 43, Sherry, topped with prosecco

When one thinks of where to do some fine craft cocktail drinking, Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood doesn’t immediately come to mind. (Well, except for Eveleigh.) For most Angelenos the Strip is for tourists, night-clubbers and the affluent coming down from the Hollywood Hills and Bel-Air. However, IDG’s Chi Lin, which opened up next door to RivaBella this past May, is trying to appeal to both the Sunset regulars and discerning drinkers. Bar Manager Aaron Alvarez (formerly of Soho House, Plan Check and Sunset Tower) has taken over the bar program. He also does the drinks for RivaBella.

At Chi Lin, which has a sexy cocktail lounge front of the house, his drinks are Asian twists on classics; using ingredients like black tea, ginseng syrup, and even a dried Chinese plum garnish. They’re simple, straightforward and not as frou-y as you’d expect a slick restaurant catty corner to Soho House and the Beverly Hills border to be. The list is small, just 10 drinks. “I’m a fan of keeping a small specialty cocktail list. I don’t want a three-pager,” said Aaron.

Sure, there’s the “girly drink” (Curry Blossom cocktail with Grey Goose vodka and raspberry orgeat) as well as the use of big name spirit brands like Patron and Bombay. But I was able to find some new favorites at this hosted tasting.

The drinks range in price from $14 to $15.

The Chi Lin Cocktails To Drink

Now, sugar-rimmed drinks usually turn me off. I’ve had too many bad experiences with them and not enough good ones. But the signature Chi Lin Punch (pictured above) with a swathe of sugar on one side of its glass was well-balanced. Not too sweet despite all that with the sherry and cognac. The dryness of the prosecco helped.

Chi Lin Kowloon Cooler by Caroline on Crack

Kowloon Cooler: Atlantico Rum with jasmine liqueur, shiso, lime, and prosecco. The Kowloon Cooler was the fave of most folks at the tasting. Sparkly with a light hit of rum. Perfect for a warm summer night.

Pearl of the Orient cocktail by Caroline on Crack

Pearl of the Orient: Belvedere Intense Vodka with Green Chartreuse, grapefruit, and Jerry Thomas Bitters. For such strong ingredients like the 100-proof Belvedere and Green Chartreuse, this was ::surprise!:: a very light, frothy cocktail. Loved its savoriness.

East by Southwest by Caroline on Crack

East by Southwest: Patron Silver, Benedictine, tamarind syrup, Cherry Heering, and lime, with a grapefruit salted rim. This take on a Singapore Slinger was another favorite. Flavorful, hint of tequila. Approachable.

Chi Lin Restaurant
9201 W Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, California 90069 (map)
(310) 278-2068