Friday, July 31, 2015

New Cocktails and Old Favorites at The Factory Kitchen (Downtown Los Angeles)

I recently returned to one of my favorite Italian restaurants in LA, The Factory Kitchen in downtown, to try out the new cocktail menu from bartender Andrew Gustafson (you can read me gushing upon my first visit to the restaurant here).

The Factory Kitchen tries to change their cocktail menu seasonally. I was running late so my friend was already having this season's best seller, the Mezcali with Xicaru mezcal, lemon, serrano, muddled tomatoes, and strawberry. It's easy to see why this drink sells so well, since not only has LA been a big spicy cocktail kick lately, this was a well balanced drink that's also not too sweet, with a more complex aspect thanks to the tomatoes.

I started my tasting with a DT-LAst Word (chamomile infused Slow Hand white whisky, Galliano, Maraschino, lemon, $12)

The Factory Kitchen

As the name hints, this drink is their version of the Last Word. Slow Hand white whiskey is an unaged whiskey from Greenbar Distillery in downtown LA. Andrew infuses it with chamomile tea; as you can see below, the bottle on the left with the yellow-ish liquor is the one infused with chamomile. I tried it by itself also and it had a really nice aroma - I'm partial to tea cocktails so I really liked this one.
The Factory Kitchen

Vinny's Backside (Amaro Meletti, lime juice, ginger beer, rosemary, $12)
The Factory Kitchen
A riff on a mule, but this drink has everything I love: amaro, ginger beer, and rosemary. I can drink this all day.
Cream on Chrome (Sloane's gin, St. Germain, cucumber, egg white, lemon, $12)
The Factory Kitchen
This cocktail was garnished with crushed black peppers, which I think really makes the drink. I was quite surprised when I took my first sip, with the coolness of the cucumber, the smooth creaminess, combined with just a little bit of that pepper.

Aeroplano (Dos Maderas rum, absinthe, lime, fresh pressed ginger, smoked paprika, $14)
The Factory Kitchen

Noce Nera (Templeton rye, Amaro Lucano, lemon, Steens cane syrup, walnut bitters, $14)
The Factory Kitchen
Even though I was there for a cocktail tasting, I couldn't help but ordering some food while I'm here, because I just really love the food here.

I tried something new (to me) per my friend's recommendation: Focaccina calda di recco al formaggio. I got the tradizionale, just filled with crescenza, arugula, Ligurian olive oil ($18)
The Factory Kitchen

The beautiful, simple dish is from a 1000-year old recipe and it is perfection. Just two layers of thin, fried bread filled with crescenza cheese. Crescenza, also known as stracchino, is a type of Italian fresh cheese - kind of like a curd. It's creamy and absolutely delicious. The Factory Kitchen gets this cheese freshly made by a local cheese monger.
The Factory Kitchen
So. good.

Speaking of fried bread and cheese, I also had to get one of my old favorites: Prosciutto (Parma prosciutto aged 24 months, lightly fried sage dough, stracciatella, $19)
The Factory Kitchen

Cannoli with fresh made shells, ricotta filling, one end is dipped in orange marmalade while the other is covered in pistachio ($9 for 3)
People in Boston may debate all they want whether Mike's or Modern Pastry has the better cannoli (it's Modern) but neither of those can beat the cannolis here!

There are a couple more new cocktails that I didn't manage to try since I had to drive, including a dessert drink with coffee liqueur, Fernet, and crushed espresso beans.

The Factory Kitchen
1300 Factory Place #101
Los Angeles, CA 90013 
(213) 996-6000


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