Little Dom’s is one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, hands down. The food is always consistently fantastic, the atmosphere is always laid back and cool, the service is always amazing, and the drinks…well, the drinks need a space devoted just to them that is outside of Little Dom’s because they are soooooo good, not to mention inventive. Nikki Sunseri, their mixologist, has created some amazing drinks, which range from extreme classics to inventive, almost too daring drinks. We picked three that run the gamut of styles for you to grab next time you are there.
This is the establishment’s standout; however, it is an acquired taste. The name Penicillin comes from the smell that the drink gives off: a very medicinal, earthy, penicillin like smell. The taste, though, is a bit removed from the scent, which is quite gingery and lemony atop of of whiskey bath. It’s served with a large ice cube, intended to slow melt and hack away at the medicine, cutting it. The drink combines two whiskeys (Famous Grouse and a ten year aged, atomized Laphroaig), which are what combines nicely with the ginger, lemon, and honey to create this medicinal flavor. The drink comes with zero garnish, except for the light froth at the top leftover from a good shake. Definitely a drink to try, even if you are allergic to penicillin regularly.
Dark & Stormy
This was a special when we were there but, of course, it’s a classic and could be whipped up at any time. The rum based cocktail is a love letter to ginger, which comes through more here than in the Penicillin. Garnished with fresh Ginger, the drink actually tastes very little like a your normal Dark & Stormy as the rum is eliminated in the ginger. The ginger isn’t overpowering nor is it particularly ginger beer bubbling. It is instead a strong player who creates a more sophisticated than rum plus ginger ale plus ice cocktail. If you’d like to kick things up a step higher in the ginger department, throw the garnish in the drink and sip away.
This was neither a special nor a menu item: this was a cocktail ordered out of curiosity to see how it would be. Of course it was great, albeit a bit intense. The cocktail, shown empty right above and full at the top of the piece, was definitely the muscular version of the drink, as the sweet to it was lacking. It was almost too bourbony, which to some people may not be a bad thing at all. Know this when you order it and, should you want to sweeten it up a little more, ask for an extra cherry.
One other, brand new drink we had that was great was the Kilkenny Soda. Our server preferred the Mint Julep and Grand Dad’s Lemonade, yet they seemed too classic to order. The Kilkenny, a Jameson, clove syrup, Flanders Ale, and peaches and lemon float, was sweet and quick to drink–yet had a lot of business, as the peaches seemed to clog what was happening, almost making it like alcoholic American Boba.
If you are a beer person, their beer selection is comprised of a lot of beers you’ve never heard of but are perfect fraternal twins to other beers you may love. The Dixie Lager, Abita Turbo Dog, and Ayinger Brau-Weisse–although unfamiliar–stepped in finely for a light, yellow beer, a deep chocolate ale, and a lemon wheat beer, similar to a hefeweizen.
Little Dom’s is unsurprisingly a fantastic place to eat and hang out, but it’s also a great place to catch a drink and relax as the drinks are affordable, hovering around the $10 mark. The atmosphere is fun and neighborhoody, making it a great place for a date or to catch up with friends. Also, if you’ve been around that hood before, you are destined to bump into someone you know and, perhaps, a celebrity. That is the magic of the place!