The ongoing revitalization of downtown LA got a boost recently with the opening of NoMad Los Angeles, the west coast rendition of the Sydell Group’s opulent flagship hotel in New York City. Like its forebear in Manhattan — currently ranked No. 3 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list — the NoMad Los Angeles boasts an outstanding cocktail program devised by acclaimed bar director Leo Robitschek, who also oversees the NoMad Bar in NYC. Robitschek plans to shepherd the LA project until springtime, before leaving it in the very capable hands of local bar stars Dave Purcell and Adam Fournier.
The bar off the main lobby is named for Bank of Italy founder Amadeo Giannini, who originally commissioned the building for his corporate headquarters back in 1923. It’s a dimly lit, opulent space fashioned in Italian Neoclassical style, replete with dark wood, marble flooring and a few contemporary California flourishes. The usual crowd tends toward a mix of sharp dressed Financial Districters, tatted-up new bohemians, models and urbane out-of-towners. The un-hip need not apply here.
Robitschek, whose bar programs have garnered just about every industry award that matters, demands precision and personality from his A-list bartenders. They certainly deliver. The ample drinks menu is broken down into categories that include Classics, NoMad Classics, Light-Spirited, Dark-Spirited, Cocktail Explosions, Soft Cocktails, and Cocktails for Two. Robitschek even imported some tried and true libations from NYC’s NoMad, including the bracing Sippy Cup (amaro, vermouth, ginger, lime, and sparkling mineral water) and the fiery Hot Lips (jalapeno-infused tequila, mezcal, pineapple, lemon, and vanilla).
Other must-try selections include the Shitake Dirty to Me — a mash-up of mushrooms, sherry, and Scotch — the crisp, gin-centric South Park Sling, and an out-this-world delectable Manhattan Milk Punch with a rye whiskey and Jamaican rum base. Come summertime, NoMad’s rooftop bar will be open for business, offering patrons the chance to enjoy world-class cocktails with a side of exquisite scenery.