Messhall’s R&D Bar (short for Research & Development) is pulling back the curtain to share the secrets behind their craft cocktails while also letting guests take part in the drink creation process. Every Wednesday night, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., barman Austin Mendez and a slate of visiting bartenders set up on the patio for a bit of instruction and experimentation.
The classroom/laboratory session is an informal affair. Coming and going as they please, customers can grab a chair at the bar or surrounding tables and ask any questions that come to mind as Mendez and friends—past guests have included Alex Barbatsis, formerly of Rivera, and Andrei Kissin, spirits specialist at Wine Warehouse—showcase new ideas and dish on special ingredients, recipes, and inspirations. Tasting is part of the fun, and feedback is encouraged as it could actually help along the finished product.
“I was working on a drink I called Tennessee Beaches—bourbon, peach, lime and muddled mint. The guests thought it was a little flat. All evening, I played with the ingredients, changing proportions, and sure enough by night’s end, it was a winner.” says Mendez. “This past week I wanted to try something a bit different, incorporating mezcal, chili peppers, and BBQ sauce. The R&D guest said they liked things hot and spicy and sure enough it worked. They even named it The Alamo.”
R&D Bar at Messhall, 4500 Los Feliz Blvd, (323) 660-6377. No reservations required.