Seven Grand, Los Angeles

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One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to spend a lot of time in airports. Since I’m usually stuck safely behind a bar five nights a week, it’s nice for me to get right in there with a swarming throng of people and be corralled through a series of lines for an hour or more.

So, to rinse off whatever anxieties I’ve accumulated during a day’s travel, I like to unwind by doing a little bar research once I arrive at my destination. Being in Los Angeles to visit my sister, and knowing where I’d go if I were Chuck Taggart, I headed downtown to sit at Southern California’s shrine to whiskey: Seven Grand.

When I’m visiting a bar of this caliber, I usually like to start with one of the classics, just to get a feel for the place. So my first cocktail was an expertly-prepared Sazerac, with Rittenhouse rye and Pernod. While I’ve got to say that I usually prefer Herbsainte to the syrupy-sweet Pernod, it became less of an issue with the punch of the 100-proof whiskey. In place of the traditional lemon peel, they used orange peel. Nice touch, dudes.

Sazerac at Seven Grand in Los Angeles

Next I decided to take a chance and venture onto the house specialty portion of the menu, something I almost never do unless I’m in a reputable establishment such as this (really, you have no idea what sort of abominations have been placed in front of me under the guise of ‘mixology’). So I ordered up an Elder Fitzgerald, which I’m guessing went something like this:

2 oz Old Fitzgerald 12 year-old bourbon
1 oz lemon juice
¾ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
½ oz simple syrup
1 egg white

…but I could be wrong. Old Fitzgerald is light and spicy, and a perfect compliment to the elderflower liqueur. The lemon adds the right amount to tartness, and the egg white builds a nice, creamy mouthfeel and a foamy head on the drink.

The Elder Fitzgerald at Seven Grand in Los Angeles

All good things must come to an end, and after four ounces of whiskey in me and very little sleep on the plane, it was about bedtime for Bonzo. Seven Grand is a little oasis in a desert of low-carb vodka/sodas and Red Bull drinks. I’ll be back, and next time I’m taking you with me, Taggart.

9 Replies to “Seven Grand, Los Angeles”

  • Chuck says:

    We woulda gone with you in a second! Please do give us a shout next time.

    Our most recent visit to Seven Grand was last Friday, where Wes and I and the two friends we brought had a Harvard Cocktail, a Rittenhouse Old Fashioned, a Ramos Gin Fizz, a Pegu Club, a Last Word and a Brock & Co. (house special named for the historic building – Bourbon, ginger-honey syrup, lemon juice, splash of orange juice and a big slice of ginger as garnish … yum!)

    Marcos spent quite a while tinkering with the Harvard before serving it too — “Damn thing wouldn’t balance!” The Cognac was Remy Martin, the vermouth was Carpano Antica.

    The Harvard was Wes’ surprise starter that evening, as this is the only bar (so far) where we’re willing to ask to be surprised by the bartender’s choice. Whatever it is, it’s always wonderful.

    You can see why we love this bar so much. 🙂

  • Don’t worry, Juliana, I will. I wouldn’t want to miss another one of your visits, the last time was too fun!

  • juliana says:

    Best make those revisions before I wander back up and harass y’all…

    Happy New Year, cutie!

  • Stay tuned, Jeff, I’ll be making those revisions very soon…

  • Jeff Frane says:

    Oh, it’s a bartender thing! Sorry. Y’all work weird hours.

    Happy New Year, Jeffrey. I suppose you’re off to deal with all the amateur drunks that fall into the bar tonight.

    I also hear you’re going to have to revise some of the content on the blog. Something about a change of venue?

  • Listen.

    Getting “very little sleep on the plane” means, as any bartender reading this thread will tell you, that I worked a 13-hour shift behind the bar, came home at 4 in the morning, and then packed, showered, and drove to the airport.

    So, Beaumont, I realize that this is nothing compared to the horror of having to drink a beer after a six-hour flight, but I feel it comes close.


    Happy New Year, peoples!

  • I’m with Jeff: What’s the story on this “very little sleep on the plane” gripe. Dude, where I come from, a 2 1/2 hour jaunt down the coast is a morning commute!

    Try flying Toronto-Milan via Frankfurt and immediately upon arrival being placed at the mercy of celebrated Italian beer legend/eccentric/lunatic Lorenzo Dabove. Then, my friend, you can complain about “very little sleep.”

    Happy New Year, Jeffrey. May our paths finally cross on ’08!

  • Hey buddy!
    I am so sorry to have missed you on the plane. But – I am glad to see that you found Seven Grand. Definitely a place I would have taken you.

    All the best to you in the New Year – and we are so getting drunk together at some point in ’08!


  • Jeff Frane says:

    Wait. “very little sleep on the plane”. Dude. You live on the west coast. It’s like a 2.5 hour flight from PDX. Sleep?

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