We live in the Hollywood Hills, which means we have access to an endless number of top notch gin joints in Los Angeles. This is your faithful writer at Esterel in the Sofitel Los Angeles, the standard bearer for things French in town. (No, the French aren’t big on martinis, but neither do they hold back for cultural reasons if a franc is to be made.)
Naturally it’s difficult to pinpoint all the best martinis in L.A., so this is only a start. The frosty one here was served up at La Boheme in West Hollywood, which is not only a good hang but a spot locals know that nicely priced fine food can be found.
But I’ve saved one of the city’s most revered drinking destinations for last. This martini was made by longtime barkeep Michael at Dan Tana’s, which is on Santa Monica Blvd. just shy of the Beverly Hills border.
The saloon serves New York-style Italian food to faithful throngs of locals, most of who are somehow involved in show business. Largely a tourist-free zone, here is where you will see familiar faces at their ease. Be aware that Tana’s is open only for dinner, the bar itself is tiny and usually packed three deep, and be warned that in an expansive mood Michael will insist on pouring you a tot of his personal bottle of slivovitz.