Remember Cedd Moses’ obsession with Del Maguey and all things Mezcal? Tonight it reaches full-bloom as the kingpin who kicked off Downtown’s nightlife scene with Golden Gopher and Broadway Bar unveils Las Perlas Mezcal y Cerveza, a below-the-border cocktail collaboration with Red Car Bar at Cole’s Rual Yrastorza. Premium tequilas and mezcal are the focus here, both alone and in drinks full of farmer’s market fruits, hand-crafted syrups, and Mexican herbs and spices designed with Rivera’s Julian Cox. Eater describes Las Perlas like a folk-art heavy hacienda with vintage and rustic touches, while L.A. Times Magazine describes it as "full of architectural details and a palette usually found only in Mexican barrios," saying Shepard "Barrio Boy" Fairey was involved on the interior with designer Rikki Kline. Naturally, there’s a goat mascot, but what’s to eat and drink?
L.A.T. Mag details cocktails like a goji-berry-addled mezcal with cantaloupe foam and edible flowers called "El Melon," plus the "400 Rabbits" with egg white, berries, and tequila, plus a spicy Poblano Escobar (!). Food appears to just be snacks along the lines of cacahuetes and chicharrónes. The website mentions cerveza being part of the name, though we’re yet to get a call back telling us if that’s craft or Corona.
To top off the gringo-gone-loco theme, Vicente Fernandez tunes will play on the stereo system, which most Mexican-Americans want to listen to when they go out about as urgently as white youths want to hear Elvis. No diss on Vicente, who has probably puked more agave juice than we will even drink in this lifetime.
In any case, Las Perlas is a certain bulls-eye. Not only has Moses pumped out many well-considered, massive successes in the service of Downtown before, but Las Perlas has the potential to become his most popular and best. Mezcal deserves its moment as badly as Downtown did in the early aughts, and there’s something about tequila that feels much more home-grown and desirable to Southern California than the vodka and gin trends we’ve been forced to swallow in the past.
Las Perlas’ Soft-Opening Party starts tonight at 7:00 P.M. Las Perlas, 107 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, 213-988-8355.