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The Must Bar Downtown Reopens

Cornmeal muffin with shrimp étouffee
Cornmeal muffin with shrimp ├ętouffee
Lelah Foster

After shutting down on Fifth Street in the summer of 2010, the Must Bar had its grand reopening last Thursday, Dec. 19. It's welcome news for those who missed the first iteration -- enough to pour out their disappointment months after its close.

Owners Coly Den Haan and Rachel Thomas chose a new location not far from the original on Fifth Street, which had closed due to a lease dispute. Their new old wine bar joins Pour Haus in the Arts District as well as BottleRock and Corkbar close to Staples Center in offering oenophiles a more extensive wine list.

Drew Coleman, formerly of the Pikey, was brought on as executive chef. He's helming a kitchen that will turn out Southern-inspired dishes with a SoCal slant, such as a beef brisket chili, jalape├▒o hush puppies and cholo fried rice done up with carnitas or, for the vegetarian, smoked tofu. There are a few menu favorites from the original location, too, like the Fluffernutter (a grilled brioche with peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and bananas served with dark chocolate ganache). The bar will offer only happy hour and dinner service for now. The Must soon will add weekday lunch and weekend brunch to the lineup.

The Must Bar: 117 Winston St., dwntwn.; (213) 628-2000.

Interior of the Must Bar
Interior of the Must Bar
Alen Lin

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