It’s a good night as any to head downtown as Radio Room returns to The Edison.Â If you don’t already know, Radio Room is a sometimes-monthly event with only the best mixologists flown in from top bars from all over. Tonight, it’s Joseph Brooke – of Santa Monicaâ€™s Copa dâ€™OroÂ and winner ofÂ America’s Top Bartender – who will be celebrating his new position as headÂ of The Edison’s cocktail program. Also featured will be Brian MillerÂ of New York Cityâ€™s famousÂ Death & Co. and Erick Castro of Bourbon & Branch andÂ Rickhouse in San Francisco. Acclaimed for their own unique vision and distinctive drink profiles, each barman brings to Radio Room menus that include both signature beverages as well as cocktails created solely for this event.
Due to fatigue induced by Mark Gold’s wonderful friedÂ chicken over at Eva,Â I had missed a late reservation on opening night at La Descarga. Luckily, thanks to Mattatouille and the company of H.C. of LA-OC-Foodie and Fiona of Gourmet Pigs, I was able to avoid the rush and visit the new, under-cover, reservation-only rum bar the very next night.
Struggling under the weight of a wine-paired meal at The Raymond in Pasadena, I was determined to see what all the fuss was about. Back in a part of Hollywood that actually borders on Koreatown, comes experience from other parts of town like the membership-only Doheny.Â Â With additional cocktail friend in tow, we admired the neighboring taco stand (complete with lucious spit of meat in the window) while beingÂ cleared byÂ the well-dressed, courteous doorman with a clipboard. And up we ascended, up narrow stairs and through jaggedly winding hallways and into an … office with a beautiful lady behind the desk.
At La Descarga, she let us know, there are two bars andÂ one smoking room. The bar in the back smoking room is reserved for rum only while the main, front bar will serve us their cocktail menu. Cigars are available (10 hand-rolled and aged varieties, that is,Â for your pleasure). From what I heard about Bill and H.C.’s opening escapades the night before, I had already known this – as H.C. had been lamenting about his dry cleaning bill earlier.
The hostess walked around the desk and toward us. Naturally, we backed up. And it was then we noticed that to our right there was a wardrobe, which she opened. We saw white linen Havana shirts hanging withÂ a passageway behind them.