Dangerous Drinks: Black Market Liquor Bar
Quick. What thoughts come to mind when you think of the Valley? How hot it is? The amount of smog? The fact that nearly all of the world’s porn is shot there? Well, now you have a new and way better thought to add to all of that: Black Market Liquor Bar.
Located in Studio City, Black Market Liquor Bar is a gastro-bistro that takes its drinks as seriously as its food. And although it’s first and foremost a restaurant, Black Market could easily become your go-to watering hole. With an accessible but inventive cocktail menu by noted cocktail mixmaster Pablo Moix (La Descarga, Harvard & Stone), it’s almost like the term “craft bar” was invented just for this place.
Even before you walk in you can sense that this restaurant/bar is different. The faded sign above this place simply reads “Victory Motorcycles,” which is wonderfully appropriate for a joint named Black Market. The look of this joint, with it’s arched brick ceilings, dim lighting and decorative glass windows, gives off the vibe of a neighborhood pub, only nicer and more inviting.
The specialty cocktails of Black Market Liquor Bar can easily be put in the “We Do Not Mess Around” category. Their most popular drink is the Red, Hot and Bothered — jalapeño infused vodka, blood orange, agave, ginger beer and a strawberry garnish. I must admit, at first I didn’t think this an appealing combo. Then I took a taste and I immediately apologized to the cocktail. All of the elements blended perfectly. Other fan favorites, City Fizz (gin, absinthe, lime, cucumber, mint, egg white), Basil Ray (basil vodka Mojito with elderflower and crushed ice) and Fields of Gold (bourbon, lemon, orange juice, orgeat syrup and — get this — grated cinnamon) really show off the expert skills of the bar’s mixologists.
Black Market also prides itself on unique takes on old classics. Their Whiskey Sour comes with heart shaped foam on top. They also aren’t afraid to bring back old school drinks that may be out of fashion. I mean, come on, any bar that can make a Mai Tai without irony gets mad props in my book.
Black Market Liquor Bar is the type of place you just want to keep coming back to. It’s so good it just may stop you from judging the Valley all the time (maybe).
Black Market Liquor Bar, 11915 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604
Photo courtesy of Thirsty in LA