Mark Peel’s highly anticipated cocktail lounge and supper club-style restaurant The Tar Pit opens in Hollywood tonight (after a preview party last night). While we’ve heard quite a lot about its dedication to classic cocktails and new recipes from partner Audrey Saunders that pair well with the eats, it’s about time to see what the great Campanile chef is cooking. We just got our hands on the menu, which Tar Pit describes as "classic American dishes from the ‘40’s." They kid not, with food that sounds more like the street and pet names of gangsters and their molls, like clams casino, shrimp Louie, lobster scallop Newburg, and steak Diane.
But that’s just the surface. It would be tempting to say the killer pink elephant trapped, mammoth-style, in the Tar Pits while holding a martini glass in a tuxedo in the logo is the coolest part of the menu. But it’s not. There are both hot and cold sides of a bar menu filled with tastes like a saffron-scented shrimp cocktail and duck sliders with orange gastrique. This is the part where cocktails are designed to match.
Elsewhere French, Italian, and Spanish preparations still fit the cozy throwback in escargot on gnocchi, duck rilletes with stilton, coq au vin blanc, mussels steamed in wheat beer, and Iberico ham with manchego. In case cyou lived in the clams casino days and it’s not your bag, perhaps wild boar meatball spatzle, Irish Whiskey steak and kidney pie, and braised pork cheeks and ears orecchiette will do the trick. Truly something to please all comers.
The wine list features all bottles under $38, seeks to highlight lesser known finds, and each come with a personal description from the owners as to why its on the list. From the booze to bites, there’s little doubt in this town that Peel will pull The Tar Pit off.
Want to see the rest of The Tar Pit menu, plus the cocktail, beer, and wine list? Take a look below. 609 N. La Brea Ave. Open every day from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. 323-965-1300.
N e o C l a s s i c a l
50% Gin, 50% French Vermouth, Orange Bitters, Lemon Essence
Gin, Aquavit, Sherry, Muddled Cucumbers, Muddled Mint, Fresh Lemon Juice
Gin Gin Mule
Gin, Mint, Lime Simple Syrup, Housemade Ginger Beer
The Flame Of Love (Variation)
Original Recipe Created by Pepe Ruiz of Chasen’s
Bay Leaf-Infused Vodka, Fino Sherry, Flamed Orange Peel
Tequila, Aperol, Demerara Syrup, Grapefruit Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon Thyme Daiquiri
White Rum, Muddled Lemon Thyme, Housemade Lime Syrup, Lime Juice
Lemon Myrtle-Infused Gin, Green Chartreuse, Muddled Mint, Simple Syrup
Dark Rum, Housemade Ginger Beer, Fresh Lime Juice, Simple Syrup
T r i b u t e s
Trident (Robert Hess, 2000)
Aquavit, Fino Sherry, Cynar Aperitif, Peach & Orange Bitters, Lemon Essence
Lil Jig (Phil Ward, 2006)
Silver Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Thai Basil, Simple Syrup
Juniperitivo (Jerri Banks, 2002)
Gin, Pomegranate Molasses, Muddled Mint, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup
C h a m p a g n e O p p o r t u n i t i e s
Aged Rum, Muddled Mint, Fresh Lime Juice, Angostura Bitters, Topped with Champagne
Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Lemon Essence, Topped with Champagne
All Bar Menu dishes are also available in the Dining Area
This is the area of the menu where food and beverages get to play in the sandbox together. The dishes you see here have been designed with cocktail pairings in mind.
We reflected on the individual flavor profiles of each dish, and paired them with a
cocktail that we felt would best compliment it.
Pickled Deviled Egg…6
Shaved Smithfield Ham
Oysters on the Half Shell…9
Fino Sherry Mignonette
Saffron-Scented Shrimp Cocktail…9
Seville Orange Remoulade
Young Ginger, Mustard Seed, Mustard Oil, Cilantro, Scallion, Plum Leaf, Plum Brandy
Duck Rillette & Stilton…9
Pickled Pearl Onions, Mustard, Smoked Salt, Multigrain Toast
Hard-cooked Egg, Cornichons, Fried Capers, Albacore Tuna Sauce
Capers, Anchovies, Shallots, Parsley, Egg Yolk, Dijon, Tabasco, Cognac, Worcesteshire
Broiled with Herbs, Butter, Bacon
Crab Cakes in Butter…9
Preserved Lemon Remoulade, Celery Root Coleslaw
Lemon Wheels, Shallot Rings, Fried Parsley Rouille
Crisp Ginger Remoulade
Cynar Aioli, Deep-Fried Lemon
Seared Pave of Salmon…12
Pepper, Fennel Seed, and Coriander Crust, Potato Sauce, Pickled Turnips
Sautéed Fennel Pork Sausages…10
Potatoes, Onions, Peppers, Rouille
* Please note that the Dining Menu is also available at the Bar *
Leeks Vinaigrette ……………………………7
Braised Leeks, Hard-Cooked Egg, Diced Red Onion, Lemon Vinaigrette
Boston Bibb Salad ……………………………7
Green Goddess Dressing, Chervil
Mushroom & Frisee Salad ………………..8
Amontillado Sherry Dressing, Chives
White Bean & Pecorino Salad ………….9
Black Pepper, Parsley, Black Cabbage
Iberico Ham & Two Manchegos ……….13
Long & Short-aged Manchego, Endive, Quince Paste, Spiced Almonds
Lobster Bisque ………………………………..7
Scented with Cognac
Shaved Octopus Salad ……………………..8
Potato, Hearts of Celery, Black Cabbage
Shrimp Louis ……………………………………9
Avocado, Hard-Cooked Egg, Cornichons, Fried Capers
Lobster & Scallop Newberg ……………..17
Potatoes, Carrots, Cream, Butter, Egg Yolks, Sherry
Mussels Steamed in Wheat Ale …………9
Pork Sausage, Grilled Bread
Half-Roast Chicken………………………….. 15
Preserved Lemon, Cumin, Sumac, Black & Watermelon Radish Salad
Coq au Vin Blanc …………………………….15
Pearl Onions, Wild Mushrooms
Meat and Game
Wild Boar Meatballs ……………………….14
Spatzle, Tomato Ragu, Shaved Parmesan
Steak & Kidney Pie …………………………..14
Stewed with Irish Whiskey & served with Yorkshire Pudding
Steak Diane ……………………………………..17
Sautéed Mushrooms, Lemon Butter, Parsley, Green Peppercorn, Cognac, Madeira
Braised Pork Cheeks & Ears …………….14
Orecchiette Pasta, Salsa Verde, Braised Beet, Greens, Dandelion Greens
Macaroni & Cheese ………………………….13
Porcini Mushrooms, Gruyere, Cheddar, Mozzarella
Gnocchi with Escargots ………………….13
Crisp Garlic, Parsley, Butter, Olive Oil, Post-Prandial
Profiteroles ………………………………………………… 9
Espresso Ice Cream, Nocino Chocolate Sauce
Fresh Apple Tart ………………………………………….. 9
Baked to Order, Served with Spiced Ice Cream
Cookie Plate ……………………………………………….. 9
Selections Change Daily
Coffee & Tea
French Press For One ………………………………….. 4
Ethiopian (high acid, bright red fruits, light body)
Sumatran (deep earthy flavors, caramel, chocolate)
Brazilian (medium body, floral aromas)
Hot Tea ……………………………………………………….. 4
Green, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Jasmine Pearls,
English Breakfast, Mint, & Chamomile
We believe that wine is about exploration, discovery and, most importantly, fun. To assemble this list, we tasted hundreds of wines over several weeks, asking our purveyors to bring us wine made from unique varieties in up-and-coming or underappreciated regions. Below you will find our favorites - the wines that really stood out in the crowd. We have listed them roughly in order of overall character: lighter, livelier wines can be found nearer the top of each section, with the deeper, richer wines further down.
We hope you enjoy them as much as we do…salud!
ALL SELECTIONS • $38 PER BOTTLE
(100) 2007 COSTA DEL MOLINO “COCOCCIOLA,” CANTINA FRENTANA, ABRUZZO, ITALY
Cantina Frentana, a large cooperative based in the Abruzzo region of eastern Italy, can hardly be called a ‘small’ producer - which normally isn’t our style.
We couldn’t get this fantastic white out of our heads, though: grassy minerality and brilliant freshness make it an absolutely phenomenal match for oysters.
(101) 2008 VERMENTINO, UVAGGIO, LODI, CALIFORNIA
Vermentino? Lodi? Who knew? Jim Moore—who once headed up the Italian Varietal Program for Mondavi—apparently did. This 2008 is undoubtedly his
best wine yet, and it’s a dead-ringer for the authentic stuff from Sardinia…crisp, floral and bursting with tart-fruit aromas. A perfect aperitif.
(102) 2006 ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE “ALTESSE,” FRÉDÉRIC GIACHINO, SAVOIE, FRANCE
White wines from the Savoie, in the lower reaches of the Alps of eastern France, are often compared to crystal-clear mountain streams—and often paired
with the fish that come from them. This beauty from micro-producer Frédéric Giachino, who owns 7 hectares of organically-farmed vineyards, is a little
richer than most…but only a little. Beautiful nutty and citrus tones on the nose and a pleasing richness in the mouth make this a winner with trout.
(103) 2008 ROBOLA, GENTILINI, CEPHALONIA, GREECE
The Cosmetatos family has been producing small amounts of wine from their island perch in the Ionian Sea, in western Greece, since the mid-1980s.
Attentive winemaking, a focus on indigenous grapes—what’s not to love? Full of citrus and minerals, this Robola-based wine practically screams shellfish.
(104) 2008 BEAUJOLAIS BLANC, JEAN-PAUL BRUN, BEAUJOLAIS, FRANCE
Jean-Paul Brun runs Terres Dorées, a small 40-acre estate in Beaujolais, the land of light and fruity reds just south of Burgundy-proper. He believes
firmly in manipulating the wine as little as possible, using indigenous yeasts and letting the grapes speak for themselves. We love the sound of their voices.
(105) 2008 ROERO ARNEIS, FRATELLI BROVIA, PIEDMONT, ITALY
As far as we’re concerned, northern Italian wines just don’t get much better than those made by the Brovia family, fixtures in eastern Piedmont since the
mid-1800s. Aside from their wonderful Barolo wines, this Arneis is one of our favorite whites. Clean, fresh, full of lemons and peaches…absolutely classic.
(106) 2008 VINHO REGIONAL MINHO “AURATUS,” QUINTA DO FEITAL, SEIXAS, PORTUGAL
Marcial Dorado makes this zingy, fantastically refreshing white from Alvarinho and old-vine Trajadura grown on the banks of the Minho River in northern
Portugal. Full of classic apricot and citrus, we think the added heft lent by the Trajadura lends the wine an exceptional balance.
(107) 2007 ERBALUCE DI CALUSO “CARIOLA,” FERRANDO, PIEDMONT, ITALY
Luigi Ferrando is a cult figure in Carema, his corner of northwestern Piedmont. While primarily known for his cool-climate Nebbiolo reds, his Erbaluce
wines, based on the nutty and floral white grape of the same name, are heavenly. One sip of this stunning single-vineyard “Cariola” bottling says it all.
(108) 2008 GODELLO, ADEGAS BENAZA, MONTERREI, SPAIN
Godello is one of Spain’s great white grapes, thriving in the cool, windswept landscape of northwestern Spain. We loved this particular bottling (which
blends in a bit of two other native grapes, Treixadura and Doña Blanca) for its slate and citrus tones and perfectly-balanced weight. Quaff away!
(109) 2008 SAINT-VÉRAN “TERROIR D’AVAYE,” DOMAINE CHEVEAU, MÂCONNAIS, FRANCE
In the looming shadow of Pouilly-Fuissé lies the commune of Saint-Véran, where winemakers have quietly been making stunning Chardonnay-based whites
for years. Domaine Cheveau is one of the best, making wines with restraint—no oak allowed—and an admirable attention to detail. This is a stunner.
(110) 2004 PINELO, IVAN BATIC, VIPAVA VALLEY, SLOVENIA
Ivan Batic is the madman of one of the most interesting up-and-coming wine regions in the world: the Vipava Valley in Slovenia. He plows his fields with
horses, practices strict organic viticulture, and is one of 4 producers making wine from the indigenous Pinelo grape. If you like White Burgundy, try this!
(111) 2005 TOKAJI FURMINT “MANDOLAS,” OREMUS, ZEMPLEN, HUNGARY
Oremus has been making wine for five centuries, and was for a period in the 18th and 19th centuries one of the premiere producers of sweet wine in the world.
Resurrected after the fall of the Iron Curtain by a consortium that includes famed Spanish producer Vega Sicilia, Oremus is now increasingly known as a
top-tier producer of dry wines as well. This 2005 Furmint is as rich and unctuous as they come—completely dry, but beguiling all the same.
(200) NV GAILLAC BRUT “METHODE GAILLACOISE,” DOMAINE DE MOULIN, GAILLAC, FRANCE
This beautiful domaine lies on the banks of the Tarn river in rural southwestern France, and has been in continuous operation since 1827. Of all their
wines, this unusual bubbly, made from the Maussac grape, is a favorite of ours for the cooler months - like a rich, spiced baked apple in a glass.
(201) NV CRÉMANT DU JURA “CUVÉE INDIGÈNE,” DOMAINE TISSOT, JURA, FRANCE
Bénédicte and Stéphane Tissot make some of the best wines of the Jura, in the foothills of the Alps along France’s eastern border. Passionate farmers first
and foremost, their wines have a clarity and transparency that we absolutely adore. This beautiful bubbly made from young Chardonnay grapes is a case-inpoint:
crisp, mineral-driven and delicious.
(300) 2007 ST. MAGDALENER “RONDELL,” GLÖGGLHOF, SÜDTIROL, ITALY
For years now, Franz Gojer has been making some of the best wines in northern Italy on the gentle and sun-drenched slopes surrounding Bolzano. This
delicate red, made from 100% Schiava, has a touch of the rustic in its smoky berry tones, but its light body and delicate finish are pure grace and class.
(301) 2008 MORGON “CÔTE DE PY,” JEAN FOILLARD, BEAUJOLAIS, FRANCE
We, along with many of our colleagues, believe Jean Foillard to be the best winemaker in Beaujolais. This particular cuvée comes from 70-year-old vines on
the Mont-du-Py outside the town of Morgon, where the red granite soils produce Gamay grapes of a concentration and complexity unrivaled in the region.
(302) 2008 “CONO 4 DE PURA CEPA,” PRIMITIVO QUILES, ALICANTE, SPAIN
Primitivo Quiles is an acknowledged master of Fondillón, an extraordinarily complex, maderized wine from Alicante in northern Spain. This “joven”
bottling is like a junior version, light and vibrant on the palate but overflowing with deep aromas of black cherries, figs and fresh herbs.
(303) 2007 CESANESE DI OLEVANO ROMANO “CORTE ALLA LUNA,” PROIETTI, LAZIO, ITALY
Lazio, the area around Rome, is the home of Cesanese—a spicy, fragrant grape capable of producing excellent modern-styled Italian reds. This one, from
top-tier producer Proietti, is a keeper. Juicy blue and red berries, plenty of earthy Italian charm and a zippy finish make it a superb food wine.
(304) 2005 “LES VIOLETTES,” PELERIN WINES, SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS, CALIFORNIA
Chris Weidemann is one of our favorite domestic winemakers. He is a sensitive and attentive producer who makes his wines year after year, without regard
to scores or fancy press. This gorgeous red is a dead-on homage to the Côte-Rôtie in Southern France: it still surprises us that it’s made in California.
(305) 2006 TEROLDEGO ROTALIANO, ROBERTO ZENI, TRENTINO, ITALY
The Zeni family isn’t a small producer, but it is one of the most consistent in the Trentino zone of northeastern Italy. This Teroldego is one of the best
wines they make, full of intense plummy character and a rich palate weight that makes us crave burgers. Or Steak Diane…
(306) 2007 RED BLEND “INDICA,” LIOCO, MENDOCINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Kevin O’Connor was once the Wine Director at Spago, and Matt Licklider was a wine importer. A few years back, they started making wine—and one taste
was all it took to convince us that they never should have been doing anything else. This red blend, inspired by the table wines of Southern France, is one of
those wines that straddles the Old and New Worlds…fruity but pleasingly tart, dense yet light on its feet. Or, in other words, just plain delightful.
(307) 2005 “CLAUS,” PAUL LEHRNER, BURGENLAND, AUSTRIA
Paul Lehrner is a smaller grower based in Mittelburgenland, one of the oldest viticultural areas in all of Europe. He consistently makes excellent wines at
reasonable prices, and we particularly like the importance he places on food-friendliness. This blend of Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch is a case-in-point: great
acidity, sappy wild fruit aromas and a barely-perceptible smokiness that we absolutely love. A great stand-in for Cabernet.
(308) 2006 ST. LAURENT, SATTLER, BURGENLAND, AUSTRIA
The young Erich Sattler says it best: “We make wine as my grandfather did, only with better machines.” It’s a formula that seems to be working for him.
From his 10 hectares in Burgenland, he produces one of our favorite Austrian reds from the St. Laurent grape: fruity, soft and lush, with just the slightest
echo of Pinot Noir (St. Laurent is thought to be a genetic relative). A fantastic match for fall flavors.
(309) 2008 VIN DE PAYS DE L’HERAULT,” LES HÉRÉTIQUES,” CHÂTEAU D’OUPIA, LANGUEDOC, FRANCE
Château d’Oupia, the estate of the late, great André Iché, is undoubtedly one of the greatest producers of Minervois. They also make a sumptuous Vin de
Pays based on old-vine Carignan. Approachable and rich, we think this wine is an unpretentious, natural beauty. Braised meats, anyone?
(310) 2007 DOURO TINTO, POMBAL DO VESUVIO, DOURO, PORTUGAL
Quinta do Vesuvio makes some of the finest Port wines in all of Portugal. Now, it seems that their non-fortified wines are catching up. Pombal do Vesuvio,
their second label, produces this rich and eminently enjoyable red, mostly from Touriga Nacional grown in the extreme climate of Portugal’s Douro River.
It’s a big wine with big flavors…naturally, it calls for bigger foods.
(311) 2006 TANNAT, CAMBIATA, MONTEREY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
It takes guts to make a Tannat, period. It takes extra guts to make one in Monterey County. This onyx-dark wine from Cambiata is, in a word, huge…full of
blackberries and Mediterranean herbs, and bursting with rich tannins and deep flavors.
(312) 2005 BOBAL “MESTIZAJE,” BODEGAS MUSTIGUILLO, VALENCIA, SPAIN
Bodegas Mustiguillo is an up-and-coming winery from southeastern Spain, just west of Valencia. One of the local grapes of the region is Bobal, a big, rich
red grape that—unsurprisingly—makes big, rich red wines. Here it is blended with a small portion of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Hitachino Nest White
Schweppes Club Soda
Schweppes Tonic Water
Schweppes Ginger Ale