Cocktail of the Week: Tiki and Tradition at Here's Looking At You

A Cocoanut Grove cocktail.EXPAND
A Cocoanut Grove cocktail.
Courtesy Here's Looking At You

Here are two truths everyone knowledgeable about food and Los Angeles needs to know: 1) Tiki is ours, it was invented here. 2) We are no longer allowed to be shocked that a non-Korean restaurant might exist in Koreatown.

Here's Looking At You is one of the most celebrated restaurants in L.A. right now (does that make it one of the most celebrated in the world? Do I think too highly of L.A., or am I right?), with mentions in the New York Times and Food & Wine in the last week alone. And in the style of most new restaurants with liquor licenses, the bar is working just as hard as the kitchen.

The specialty cocktails change seasonally, though there has been a through-line since the restaurant opened of rum and tropical fruits, which matches the restaurant's subtle theme: most of the staff wears classic aloha shirts, making each server a friendly, efficient walking pop of color and joy.

The cocktails are pretty small; delicate and pretty things that are just jampacked with alcohol. The "Spanish Dancer," a tequila drink with pineapple, lime, cucumber, honey and parsley is a smooth delight; the "Superbloom" is a beautiful fuchsia concoction that will probably knock you flat if you don't eat some starches with it.

But the official Cocktail of the Week is the "Cocoanut Grove," which comes adorned with an orchid. It's one of the simpler drinks on the menu, with just rum, coconut cream, lime and curacao shaken with small ice. I'd almost recommend ordering it for dessert, except the restaurant's desserts are so beautiful, too. So get both.

One caveat: there seems to be some confusion about reservations and sitting at the bar, so call ahead, even if you're just coming in for a drink. Makes for smooth sailing, which is what you're looking for when drinking rum.

3901 W. 6th St., Koreatown. (213) 568-3573, hereslookingatyoula.com.


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