Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cocktailing at Next Door Lounge with Joseph Brooke (Hollywood)

Hollywood's latest bar, Next Door Lounge, isn't exactly next door to me but with The Edison's alum Joseph Brooke behind the bar, it is certainly worth a visit. Joe Brooke joined the team right before the lounge opened, so while he's added his concoctions on and revamped some of the drinks they already had on the menu.

Next Door Lounge is owned by the same man as The Corner, but unlike the casual comfort food joint, Next Door Lounge is aiming for a sophisticated speakeasy feel. When I checked out the place with LA OC Foodie and e*starla, I got to really take in the space during the quieter early evening, and it's beautiful.

The cocktails are mostly $12, with a couple that run $14 (one of them also happened to be one of our favorites, the Volstead and Vice made with Ilegal Mezcal Joven, Pernod Absinthe, cucumber water, agave nectar, lime juice). Yep, we love smoky drinks.

Here are some more of the cocktails I liked:
The Dame Next Door (Canadian Club 12 yr, dry vermouth, clove-infused pineapple gomme syrup, pineapple juice, pasteurized egg white, angostura bitters)
Dame Next Door
See the key-shaped bitters sprayed on the drink? That's the Next Door Lounge logo.

Hoover's Wig (Flor de Cana 4yr, ginger syrup, Carpano Antica, apple juice, lemon juice, prosecco)
Hoover's Wig

This drink has gone through a couple iterations, as the previous version apparently didn't fare so well. Joe Brooke has revamped the recipe and while I never had the previous one, I definitely enjoyed this one.

When I saw Fruitlab's jasmine liqueur on the menu, I wanted to try it. Though I loved the liqueur when we tried it by itself, I didn't really dig the cocktail it went into, The Shimmy, made with Hennessy VS and Sazerac rye (It was ok but I preferred the Clover Club that HC ordered).

Next Door Lounge also serves some bar food, and the prices are reasonable. We got to try the Spinach and goat cheese pizza ($8): spinach, walnuts, roasted apple, mozzarella and goat cheese, "fresh herb drizzle"
Flatbread, Apple

Not sure what the fresh herb drizzle was, but I enjoyed the interesting addition of the sweet apples.

"Attaboys": 3 sliders ($9 for grass fed beef, $11 for buffalo) with fresh herbs, Asiago cheese, crispy onion. Served with sweet potato fries.

Another great bar opening is always good news, and Next Door Lounge is no exception. With a great space and ambiance, reasonably priced finger-friendly comfort food, and Joseph Brooke behind the bar, this place would do well. I'd like to see how the cocktail menu evolves as Joseph Brooke gets settled in .

Next Door Lounge
1154 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 465-5500
Next Door Lounge on Urbanspoon
Disclosure: Our visit was partially comped (food and one round of drinks)


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