This New Downtown Bar Is a Stunner in More Ways Than One

Come for the antique setting, stay for the thoroughly modern cocktails

It’s hard to say what’s more intricate at the Wolves—the room or the drinks. With Batchelder floor tiles, antique lampposts, stained glass, and a Belle Epoque-era ceiling from a Lyonnaise train station, the cocktail bar feels like you’ve stepped into Paris circa 1914. Ambitious barman Kevin Lee crafts every amaro, vermouth, and liqueur from scratch.

The Scene

Warm jazz and a no-standing policy make for a classy ambience but can lead to long waits. Le Néant, a separate bar upstairs, offers bespoke cocktail tastings.

The Drinks

Bourbon Cranberry with Smoke blends the Kentucky spirit with orange and cranberry liqueurs and vermouth; it’s then sealed in a carafe with smoke from a burning port barrel stave. For the Fernet & Mango, Lee stirs amaro with tequila, fermented mangoes, and nectarine-clove liqueur. Amazingly, it works.

519 S. Spring St., downtown.

RELATED: Bitter and Better: Getting Your Amaro Fix in L.A.

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