I have often referred to Drago Centro as my “home bar.” When I’m not out checking out the latest new bar or restaurant, I find myself at Drago in Downtown Los Angeles. I love the food and I always feel comfortable there. Recently some of my favorites have left including Jaymee Mandeville who kept the bar buzzing after Michael Shearin departed but you can still see both their influences at the bar still. New head bartender Jason Eisner is taking care of their baby.
He launched the Fall cocktail menu last month and immediately I noticed some wonderful things like some of the cocktails have come down in price. Expect cocktails to start off at $10 though there are some premium cocktails for $14. As always, the all-day, every day bar menu is still reasonably priced including some “happy hour” drinks that are available anytime.
I started off the night with the Back to School. Now is a great time to get into the Fall season with this sipper. Although this is served cold, I could imagine it’d be very tasty warm. Imagine a whiskey punch with walnut and pumpkin. The port and rye gets a dose of citrus and is balanced out with bitters.
Back to School – Rittenhouse rye, candied walnut pumpkin butter, port, lemon, Angostura bitters
For many years, I thought the “art piece” in the corner was just that. It turns out it’s a board where they are now showcasing specials. On this night, they featured sangrita. Might as well utilize the special boards Jaymee had made a la Neat. Lil’ Twisted lives on.
Drago Centro has gotten into the stencil came with their famous D logo sprayed onto a sour cocktail. This one is special with a Fuji apple nectar. I also liked the addition of maple syrup as the sweetener.
Drago Sour – bourbon, Fuji apple nectar, lemon, maple syrup, egg white, Angostura bitters
One of the most exciting drinks I spotted was the Italian Roots with the Fernet-Branca whipped cream. I had this cognac drink as my second drink but I would recommend this as more of a dessert cocktail.
Italian Roots – D’usse Cognac, Cio Ciaro, demerara syrup, chocolate bitters, Angostura bitters, vanilla bourbon extract, Fernet-Branca whipped cream
My friend tried out the Perla del Mar since she’s the mezcal fan. I thought this was a very accessible drink for all types of drinkers. If you like smokey and savory then this is the cocktail for you.
Perla del Mar – Mezcal, St. Germain, lime, watermelon, jalepeno, agave, fleur de sel
Another drink that might be good for dessert is Cartwheels in Rome. Though it is relatively light so perhaps an apertivo? Heck, gin and Prosecco is good anytime.
Cartwheels in Rome – Bombay Sapphire Gin, blueberry maple reduction, lime, Prosecco, Sicilian whipped cream
Jason is doing a wonderful job at the bar at Drago Centro. I’m looking forward to spending more of my “off” nights there.
525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 – (213) 228-8998
© LA Cocktails // The Minty 2013