The thirsty folks of Playa del Rey have gotten one more cocktail joint to add to their growing options: Bacari PDR, which took over the old Bistro du Soleil space overlooking the corner of Vista Del Mar and Culver Boulevard. That’s a good thing, since PDR is pretty much tucked away there between the beach and the marina with limited drinking options. As the Westside sister to University Park’s Bacaro LA, Bacari makes it very easy to settle in for the night with a $20-a-person open bar “PDR Special” and happy hour sangria for $10 a liter.
It also has, unlike Bacaro LA, a full bar and a bar program set up by cocktail consultant Adam Sandroni (The Virgil, Townhouse). Co-owner Daniel Kronfli describes the drinks as unpretentious, easy breezy and unique in that it has “stuff that people don’t really have in other places.” Namely Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails making use of rose reductions and ouzo.
This made it super easy for Sandroni to pair them with Executive Chef Lior Hillel’s Mediterranean-inspired cicchetti small plates. For instance with the desserts, the Rose Gimlet is meant to work with the malabi and its rosewater custard, while the Venetian Coffee’s coffee liqueur is matched up to the richness of a decadent cookie dough dessert with chocolate and cardamom. Here are a few more pairings as described by Kronfli.
Harley Sidecar (rye whiskey, Cointreau, lemon, Demerara, Islay scotch float) and Glazed Pork Belly Skewers (sweet mulling spice and umami reduction): “The smokiness of the Islay scotch float in the Harley Sidecar goes really well with the pork belly. The pork belly is cooked in a three-day process. It’s marinated and braised for a few days, we use all different types of techniques to make it nice and buttery and melt in your mouth. It’s got a nice smokey flavor to it.”
Mediterranean Licorice (gin, ouzo, pineapple, simple, lemon, egg white, soda, mint) and Bowl of Clams (Little Necks, ouzo, fresh tomato, lemon, jalapeno, white wine, sweet plugra, grilled baguette): “The chef cooks the clams in the ouzo so you get that black licorice taste from the sauce in the clams and we use the same alcohol in the cocktail.”
Black Manhattan (rye whiskey, amaro, Angostura, orange twist) and Smoked Mushroom Pizza (Besciamella sauce, garlic, Hook’s 2-year aged white cheddar, parsley): “The rye whiskey has a natural smoke flavor which pairs well with the smoked mushrooms which go through a day-long smoking process. The amaro and orange twist pair well with the tomatillo sauce.”
Bacari PDR, 6805 Vista Del Mar Ln., Playa Del Rey, 310-439-2100.