Note from Kenin: When we went to LA to visit my brother, one of the great places we checked out was Villain’s Tavern in the LA Arts District. Since Brant is both a resident of LA and an aficionado of bars and cocktails plus writes the whyihateeverything blog we opted to have him guest post a review.
Review Villain’s Tavern LA Art District
For all the sleek sophistication of the new mixology movement, let’s face it, half of the colorful cocktails out there can taste a bit trashy. The lesson here is that just because you can mix a couple liquors with juices and herbs doesn’t always mean you should. Villain’s Tavern, however, knows exactly how to concoct anachronistic drinks without turning the stomach, serving a variety of flavorful combinations that are enjoyable to imbibe and interesting on the palette at the same time.
On the edge of downtown LA in the burgeoning Arts District, Villain’s is a perfect hangout for 19th century outlaws with a dash of modern garnish. A huge gothic arch reclaimed from an old church looms over the bar and sets the tone for a plethora of vintage decorations. The glass window shelves are lined with turn of the century jars and medicine bottles, and these aren’t the only thing giving off the apothecary vibe. Strange oils, shrubs, and spices abound in the creative cocktails served in Mason jars.
Outside, bartenders serve bowls of overpowering punch and mix-n-match beer and liquor specials. As if that wasn’t eclectic enough, soulful middle-America blues bands play to a small but attentive crowd every night.
Villain’s may feel like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but that’s kind of the point. This is a hideout for the unsavory looking for good times. And the best part? The bar is not pretentious at all. This is a very laid back attitude for Los Angeles, and honestly, anything more wouldn’t work in the Arts District. At least not for another 5 years.
About the Author
Follow Brant’s other musings on his self described “postulation of suck” at whyihateeverything.com