After giving modern-day L.A. an atmospheric, “dry twenties”-style haunt and strong cocktail program to soak in, Downtown’s The Edison was followed by a gold rush of speakeasies, supper clubs, and bathtub gin joints sprouting up all over the scene before until the trend tapered off sometime in 2011. Today L.A. Downtown News spies a new Prohibition-influenced destination called Ebanos Crossing currently under construction at Second and Hill. While SBE recently caught up with the trend by opening Hollywood’s own speakeasy-influenced Emerson Theatre, this one sounds like it will have a refreshing Southwestern twist. Named for a south-central Texas crossing over the border to Mexico, the project comes from Justin Shapiro, one of the owners of New York’s mezcal and tequila bar Mayahuel.
Expected in late spring in the former home of Hill Street’s shuttered Pho Citi, Shapiro tells the paper that his menu will be inspired by the routes used by smugglers from Mexico to the U.S. during Prohibition, with dinner dishes like chorizo-wrapped mac and cheese cubes, rum reduction chicken wings, and bourbon and blackberry short ribs, with a bar and cocktails based on mescal, tequila, rum, and whiskey.
We doubt Southwestern bootleggers were partial to mac-and-cheese cubes, even if they weren’t complete strangers to gouging clientele for cocktails. Nonetheless, this beats news of another overpriced plate of deviled eggs for now. Of course, if you want to step into a real speakeasy, we may know where to find one of those Downtown, too.
Ebanos Crossing, 200 South Hill St. Downtown; 213-935-8829.