SF Cocktail Expert Joins Dodgers

An expert local hand has gone over, it seems, helping launch the new Los Angeles bar, The Association. Aren’t we supposed to be in constant competition with LA? What gives?

Ah well, the rivalry doesn’t seem to phase Nopa bartender Kent Howard, who helped develop the cocktail list for the new lounge. From the LA Times:

“In San Francisco, there’s a huge culture for classic cocktails,” Howard said Tuesday, in town to oversee the opening. “We’d like to introduce that here in L.A., but we’re not going to be pretentious about it and we will engage the drinker.” Howard is on loan from the San Francisco restaurant Nopa.

Ok, that’s laudable and all, but let’s look between the lines here: This bar is going to be annoying. The article insists in three separate passages, that The Association is not over-the-top, heavily themed, or too in-your-face, which sets of alarm bells for us.

And Owner Ashley Joyce expresses his hope for the place to be a “proper boozer,” a “local” and whatever other colloquialisms he can come up with to signify a quiet neighborhood joint that would not be the subject of a write-up in the Los Angeles Times, or have a front door that is a replica of No. 10 Downing Street (which he at least acknowledges is “cheeky”).

It’s not that this place would necessarily be unpleasant to visit, but the attitude is already awkward: It’s trying too hard to not be trying too hard, which grates. At least we can be sure they’ll have a good drinks list, thanks to Kent Howard.

But Mr. Howard, the fire damage is all patched up at Nopa, so you can come back north now, and make us another Sazerac. Your drinks taste better in the fog, anyway.

A pub for downtown dwellers [LA Times]
Nopa [MenuPages]
Nopa [Official Site]

[Photo: 10 Downing St. Via LondonTown.com]

SF Cocktail Expert Joins Dodgers