Spots for a Post-Holiday-Shopping Sip
By Eric Rosen
The Colonial Wine Bar features cushy seating amid a vast wine collection.
Picking up presents for your favorite Eastsiders at Sunset Junction’s funky boutiques or the hipsterific shops on Vermont? Get yourself something nice too by popping in for a cocktail at Big Bar, the ironically named, diminutive watering hole attached to Hillhurst’s Alcove Cafe & Bakery, where you can forget your troubles with a Sal Paradise, made with Oro Torontel pisco, grapefruit, lime, honey, and sour cherry bitters. 1929 Hillhurst Ave., LA; 323-644-0100
Shop for your favorite Westside doyennes in Brentwood’s tony stores, then amble down to the eastern end of San Vicente and this bar annex to the eponymous Italian eatery, where you can refresh yourself with a glass of Italian wine or classic aperitifs like the Negroni with Plymouth gin, Campari, Carpano Antica Formul Prestige vermouth, topped with a twist by a bartender who will be your new best friend by evening’s end. 11633 San Vicente Blvd., LA, 310-826-0028
The Colonial Wine Bar
“Wine Dude” David Haskell has set up shop in a beautiful space with cushy banquettes, a long marble bar, and moody retro-mod lamps under which patrons can enjoy his signature idiosyncratic (and thoroughly explained) pairings of wines. Try the Duck U Too (duck confit, buttermilk biscuit, and ancho barbecue sauce) with the 2010 Les Amis de la Bouissière after a daylong shopping excursion at Fred Segal and Marc Jacobs. 7166 Melrose Ave., LA, 323-657-1827
Browse the boutiques of Sunset Plaza, then slip past the bucolic olive tree-shaded front patio of this converted 1920s bungalow, beyond the bustling bar area decorated with salvaged knickknacks, and sit yourself at a table on the back deck where you can enjoy an Eveleigh Lemonade—made with chamomile-infused tequila, Cocchi Americano, Combier, fresh lemon juice, and honey—along with a view of LA. 8752 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 424-239-1630
Avoid uncouth holiday behavior by swooping up a menagerie of pretty gifts for friends along West 3rd Street, then enjoy this Faux Pas instead. This new bistro serves a casual American- and French-inspired menu to diners ensconced in huge red-leather booths, but it’s the bar’s all-day happy hour that will have you celebrating prized purchases with two-for-one cocktails like the Blackberry Foxtail with Scotch, blackberries, mint, and citrus. 7910 W. 3rd St., LA, 323-424-4767
Come holiday-shopping season, one thing is certain: You’ll be spending some time at The Grove. Ease your agoraphobic anxiety with the thought of a Bellini of Prosecco and fresh white-peach puree at the end of the day at this new bar overseen by “Maestro” Salvatore Calabrese. 6333 W. 3rd St., Ste. 020, LA, 323-370-6560.
Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
Ladies who lunch—or the sweet young things who will become them—flock to Robertson’s boutiques for name-brand finds at emporia like Kitson, Lisa Kline, Intermix, and Ted Baker. What better way to celebrate a new purchase than with a glass of Bailly Lapierre Réserve Brut Crémant de Bourgogne and Classic Transmontanus caviar? 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-271-6300
After hiking the length of the Third Street Promenade or perusing the wares of Santa Monica Place’s flagship stores including Burberry, Nordstrom, and Tiffany & Co., and the gourmet goodies at the third-floor Marketplace, slake your thirst at this eclectic wine store and gift shop. Before settling on a glass of wine to enjoy on the patio, try three pours from the flight of the day, where you’re always bound to find something interesting. The Market at Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, 310-576-2500
Cover shoot: September 2014 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.