Did you want a really good cocktail, the kind you’d get in good old DTLA, but you’re not in the neighborhood? Are your eyes tired of the same slick, post-modern, “designer-y” interior design of many new or almost-new bars in LA? Are you in the Westside and you’re about two Yelp searches away from declaring, “There’s nowhere to drink in the Westside!”? Well, my dear Eastside-minded lush, the new but pleasantly old-fashioned Oldfield’s Liquor Room meets your needs for your alcoholic palette and your pretty-seeking eyes.
The owners of Thirsty Crow and Bigfoot Lodge have revamped the old location of Saints and Sinners and set up a new venture: Oldfield’s Liquor Room, named after a famous speed car racer Barney Oldfield. His biography is lovingly detailed on the back of every cocktail menu.
Gone are the James Bond-slash-1970s-porn-lounge interiors of Saints and Sinners on Venice Boulevard. Now at Oldfield’s, there are polished subway tile walls (inside and out!), hexagram tile floors, incredible reclaimed wood patterned into the ceilings. Flattering dim light fill the rooms through vintage light fixtures, encouraging the antique-savvy patrons to discuss artifacts from the early 20th century. The barkeep and friendly hostesses don seersucker aprons, legitimate good threads, and polished hairstyles. You may find girls who love to sport a good red lipstick lip here, sipping on cocktails out of heavy-bottomed crystal or champagne saucers. The semi-circle inset of the main bar is a conversation starter – there’s something about the large, stage-like bar that draws comparison to the architecture found in Babette’s Supper Club in “Boardwalk Empire”.
While the new establishment is easy on the eyes, it’s also easy on the tongue and heavy on the booze. What do you do in a bar that makes you think of Prohibition? Drink. Drink a lot. Drink the entire menu. So we did. Our favorites included some true originals that were delicious and educational in terms of not-oft used spirits:
- Indy Stutz: (easily our #1 favorite) Jameson Whiskey, Averna Amaro Carpano Antica, Chocolate Chili Bitters
- Dauntless: Bols Genever, Poire Williams, Lime housemade Falernum, Fever Tree Ginger Beer
- Blonde Comet: Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon (what’s up, delicious!), G.E. Massenez Peche, Fresh Grapefruit Angostura Bitters
- Blitzen Benz: Cynar, Maraschino Liqueur, Lemon, Egg White, Peychaud’s Bitters
- No. 999: Talisker 10 yr Scotch (mmhmm), Lemon, Housemade Grenadine
- Outlaw: (This one gives Las Perlas a run for its money) Milagro Reposado, Jalapeno Chile, Cilantro, Fresh Grapefruit, Honey
Keeping up and keeping pace, we also had the following: Oldfield’s Hemingway (too syrupy but good for the sugartoothed boozer), The Cactus Derby (chartreuse is overpowering but unique), The Desert Classic, The Oakshade (strangely the chocolate chili bitters were distracting in this one), Peerless, and the champagne cocktails Backstreet and Golden Submarine – the latter had a dried jasmine flower blossom garnish that did not bloom for us. As bourbon drinkers, we never made it to the gin-based cocktails (like two of them?), but therein lies one reason to return.
Oldfield’s also offers Punch Bowls, which is genius, since people like to drink in big groups and in large quantities, all the time. Though we didn’t partake in the Punch Bowls (drinking the whole cocktail menu is a busy business, okay?), the Shrub Punch Bowl looks delectable – Tru Organic Gin, Clemente Creole Shrub, Blackberry/Rosemary Shrub, Lemon and Perrier.
Beer lovers are not ostracized at Oldfield’s. It is a liquor room, natch. Popular among guests were the bottles of St. Peter’s English Ale and St. Peter’s Gluten Free, which are dispensed in medicinal-shaped green bottles. Wine and bubbly are also available, and I’ll have to return to drink that entire menu too.
Lining our stomachs were sandwiches – basic, delicious, poor boy-style sandwiches. Personal favorites included a fancy mustard and cheese combination and a simple chocolate (!) sandwich.
We concluded our night with some Fernet we’ve never had or seen before, hence outlining the knowledge of Oldfield’s bartenders. And maybe that last shot of Blanton’s bourbon was ill-advised, but we had fun, and the cab ride home was well worth it. So if you’re in the Westside, please check out Oldfield’s Liquor Room. It’s the classiest joint, that side of the Angeleno Mason-Dixon (personally, it’s Doheny for me, which is forgiving).
Interior Bar Photo found at UrbanDaddy