Bar Bouchon


Just beneath Thomas Keller’s new bistro is this classy cocktail destination with its own menu of light nibbles. A magnificent nickel-plated bar curves across the room, behind which sits a tidy selection of bottles used to make the dozen or so specialty cocktails, among them the Rose (dry vermouth, Edel-Kirsch, and raspberry), the Port Side (Starr rum, jasmine liqueur, white port, and basil), and a classic Sazerac. As for what’s on the plate, expect luxe standards like oysters on the half shell, escargots capped with puff pastry, a pot of chicken livers topped with prune gelée for spreading on fresh-baked crostini, and an exquisitely poached egg on a bed of green lentils. As at the bistro, each dish is a top-notch version of the classic. The bartenders are politely chatty and the seats are surprisingly empty, making this a relaxed alternative to the Beverly Hills hubbub upstairs. » 235 N. Canon Dr. (310-271-9910 or L-D nightly. Full bar. Cocktail bar     $$ 

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