Ask Mr. Gold: Maturity at Midnight at The Tar Pit
Anne Fishbeinthe invisible restaurant critic
Dear Mr. Gold:
Last night I wanted to take my friend out for a nightcap in a spot with yummy food and an older crowd. Well, older than 20s -- her prerequisite. We wouldn't have arrived until midnight. We were in Hollywood and could have driven anywhere. We failed. What are some of your late-night spots?
--Eff Em Kay, via Facebook
Dear Eff Em Kay:
Late night is always a problem here, especially when a nightcap is involved. When cocktails are involved, Koreatown is no longer your oyster. When you take twentysomething-intensive places like Animal, Son of a Gun, Wurstkuche, Pete's, Red Medicine and the entire Cahuenga corridor out of the equation, it's exponentially more difficult. Los Angeles definitely needs a late-night brasserie, the equivalent of Balthazar or the Odeon, as we've all ended up at Canter's, DuPar's or Suehiro a few too many times.
I tend to end up at some combination of Thaitown -- Sanamaluang? Ruen Pair? Krua Siri? -- and the Varnish, which is not a sad way to end the night.
Still, at these times, it is always good to remember The Tar Pit, a dark, Deco-themed restaurant built around the notion of civilized late suppers, where it is possible to slide into fried oysters, steak Diane or goat cheese with figs at practically any hour, and self-lubricate with a well-made jalapeño-laced tequila drink or a proper Moscow Mule. The crowd is nostalgic for nostalgia for the 1940s rather than for the 1940s themselves, but at midnight, that's probably the way it should be.
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