Villains Tavern: Halloween Dark Carnival & New Fall Cocktails
Villains Tavern, amid the rough and tumble Art District of Downtown Los Angeles, has become both a destination bar for visitors and locals alike to sip on clever cocktails in signature canning jars, hear Indie rock bands and unwind under the orange-hued night sky on the vast outdoor patio.
By the same owner as One-Eyed Gypsy, Villains' mood is simpatico. Eccentric salvaged elements, splashes of color, and vintage curiosities magically merge to create a funkaliciously convivial atmosphere. Villains Tavern is more like a visit to that hip uncle’s basement den than the swanky circus feel of One-Eyed Gypsy.
At Villains, it’s an absolute crime if you don’t absolutely love what you’re drinking — they take mixology seriously with specialty liquors, housemade syrups and ciders, and fresh herbs and fruit. Distinguishing Villains Tavern from other in-vogue Downtown L.A. cocktail bars is their creative take on the presentation of a drink.
For example, the Mix and Match is a shot-beer pairing feature no other bar in town has. One of Villains’ "shot sommeliers" (we’ll call them that for lack of a more technical term) pairs the top-shelf liquor of your choice with one of the twenty craft beers. Depending upon your thirst, the Mix & Match jar ranges from small to giant. ($8-24)
Instead of bottle service, Villains concocts bespoke punches strewn with fresh fruit or edible flowers that serve up to twenty people. The communal punch, served in ornate antique silver bowls, is a favorite with regulars - it's strikingly unusual and a groovy, hands-on approach to sharing a cocktail with friends. ($150)
Even if Los Angeles doesn’t really have much in the way of true seasons, Villains Tavern celebrates it as if they did by introducing a seasonal cocktail menu. Their fall libation lineup highlights a few hot toddy style drinks, harvest flavors and spicy bitters — all $12.
Need to warm up from the chilly 60 degree Los Angeles fall weather? Piping hot Lady Percy, made with housemade pear cider utilizing 12 pears of 2 varieties, apricots and bitters will definitely ward off any seasonal blues.
Other favorites from Villains' Fall Libation Menu include the ruby-colored Usha (Plymouth Gin, fresh lime, cabernet wine, lavender bitters, cranberry and flamed grapefruit oils), the frothy Dastardly Whiplash (Metl Mezcal, Chamomile Syrup, Yellow Chartreuse, egg whites and grapefruit) and the Manhattan-esque Cacophony (Russell's Rye, Cardamaro, Swedish bitters and basil).
As a sequel to last year, Halloween is an all out two day devilish revelry at Villains Tavern. Dark Carnival II will feature tarot card readings, punch bowl cocktails, carnival food, a costume contest and even a freak show. Catch one or twelve of the bands playing this year including LA Hootenanny, George Sarah, Steamhead, Whitton, Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls, Paladino and Broken Numbers. The carousing carnival fun begins Friday, October 28 from 5 pm - 2 am then continues October 29 from 1 pm - 2 am.
Villains Tavern, 1356 Palmetto St., Los Angeles, 91003