With a robust craft cocktail and mixology scene, Los Angeles is a hub for booze lovers. But let’s not forget that one of the real privileges of our city is its close proximity to other delicious destinations. From San Francisco to San Diego, scope out our picks for places to quench your thirst (and maybe grab a bite or two).
Oddjob | San Francisco, CA
Hidden away in this SoMa bar is a “bar within a bar:” SRO (or “Standing Room Only”), home to whiz mixologist Joey Picchi. Stumbling into Oddjob feels like a tremendous treat—especially because, when it comes to exploring San Francisco, the beautiful neighborhoods and quirky nooks and crannies definitely come with their fair share of peculiarities and hazards. So take refuge at SRO, where Joey works off of prompts given by customers, and is famous for his carefully collected assortment of uncommon ingredients and mixers—an arsenal that allows him to create the ideal libation channeling your requested aura. What to get: at Oddjob, it’s up to you; but don’t worry, you’re in good hands.
Polite Provisions | San Diego, CA
After spending the day soaking up rays at the beach, walking into this bar feels like a trip back through time. One minute, it’s all surf bums and sunshine; the next, you’re transported to an elegant, old-time apothecary. A bright, clean interior houses gorgeous detail: meticulous tiling, antique street lamps, and over 46 golden taps with cocktails, draft beers and select spirits at the ready. In addition, Polite Provisions has a mind-boggling 50+ bitters at their disposal. Needless to say, if you’re in San Diego, Polite Provisions should definitely be on your hit list. What to get: Order “The East River Defense,” which has Manzanilla Sherry, fresh lemon juice, grapefruit bitters, seltzer & a pinch of sea salt.
Finch & Fork | Santa Barbara, CA
This gorgeous Santa Barbara restaurant and bar pays homage to area farms and ocean bounty; and the locals know it. A community favorite, Finch & Fork invites visitors to enjoy the warm ambiance of the restaurant while dining on tapas-style dishes, each proudly prepared using no more than six (exquisite) ingredients. Similar care goes into their seasonal cocktails, all handmade with famously fresh ingredients sourced from the Central Coast. What to get: Come for brunch and get their “Maria en Fuego,” a variation on a Bloody Mary with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, house-made Bloody Mary mix, chili and salt rim, grilled pineapple, olives, and celery.
Lucy Restaurant & Bar | Napa, CA
When you’ve grown weary of the grape, settle in at Lucy for a mouthwatering meal and
refreshing craft cocktail. All the offerings at Lucy begin in their very own garden, where everything from produce to garnish is hand-plucked on demand. Whether it’s Persian lime wedges or one of eight different varieties of mint, the eco-garden supplies Lucy’s concoctions with some of the freshest herbs, fruits, and veggies around. What to get: Try the “Dali Tai,” a drink made with Sugar Daddy amber rum, Lost Spirits navy rum, house made orgeat, lime, Combier, and Perucchi dry vermouth.