Jeremy Lake, The Minty Hot Bartender 2012
I recently discovered Rivera now has happy hour. When the restaurant first opened, they famously didn’t have discounted cocktails or food for the hungry office workers. They’re fairly close to LA Live, the Convention Center and Staples. I wouldn’t want to discount my food or booze either. Then Rivera started doing reverse happy hour and that seemed to work at catching the folks leaving the nearby entertainment.
Luckily they started happy hour about five months ago. It only took me that long to figure this out. I was looking at their lunch menu online (which hasn’t changed much) and noticed the happy hour menu. Say what? I was there that same week. Okay, it was a week later. But I have made it a semi-regular thing bringing in my coworkers. I needed to find a new happy hour/ after-work hang since I am not frequenting my other two haunts at the moment.
Beverage Director (and the Minty Hot Bartender 2012) Jeremy Lake along with Julian Cox put together the cocktails. The following is a mix of what’s currently available but catch these soon because they’re gearing up for Spring menus soon.
arepas with BBQ shrimp
The food for happy hour includes stuffed olives, arepas with BBQ shrimp, a short ribs tamailii, the always delicious tortillas florales and more. All for $5 a pop. I’m currently obsessed with the arepas and tamalii (that’s how they spell it).
Happy hour cocktails include classics like daiquiri and Gold Rush. The Rivera’s Cup– a take on a Pimm’s cup is also very popular with tequila and cucumbers. There’s also a few beer and wine options.
tamalii short ribs
Mushrooms add to the already great flavor of the tamalii short ribs.
Saved by Basil
Saved by Basil is already off the list but I’m always curious about Dimmi based cocktails. The Italian grappa lends itself well to fruity concoctions. Plus, I love basil. My alter ego is The Basil.
On the regular cocktails list, La Ofrenda is one of my favorites with housemade blood orange chips and foam. The tequila based cocktail is a showy cocktail but still has a lot of substance to back it up. I was sitting at the bar before a Lakers game and so many people were intrigued by this drink. Sure, the Barbacoa and Blood Sugar Sex Magic are still probably the best sellers but I have a feeling La Ofrenda will go far. At least until the end of the blood orange season.
Whenever I want to go light, I ask for a sour. The Autumn Sour is a nice one.
Flor de Jerez
I love that Rivera has a whole section of sherry cocktails right now. The Flor de Jerez is my pick at the moment.
Rivera is probably known for its wide selection of tequilas but it also has a strong whiskey selection as well. Get classics like the Monte Carlo here.
Or if you like rum, the Chet Baker from the happy hour menu is also a deal.
One of these days, I’ll have to put together my Manhattan Project post. I’ve been on a hunt trying all the different Manhattan variations. Carroll Gardens may not be as well-known as a Little Italy or a Red Hook but it has it’s place in my heart.
1050 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015-5100 – (213) 749-1460
© The Minty // LA Cocktails 2013