For all that our mothers do for us, we've designated just one day each year for them, which often amounts to a three-hour tea or brunch set that probably appeals more to the stereotype of mothers than anything else. It's easy to overlook the new normal of mother figures in a post-women's lib era that has seen networks trading portraits of mom as June Cleaver for that of Roseanne Connor — or Claire Dunphy. These are moms often prefer a drink stronger than tea, and maybe with an accompaniment more substantial than mini crustless sandwiches.
The stats don't lie: A study by the National Restaurant Association found that “dinner remains the most popular meal for which to dine out on Mother's Day.” Fifty-five percent of us will choose to go out at night. More revealingly, the preferred meal would consist of either steak, seafood or barbecue — with 34% of moms choosing this category over that of American cuisine and buffets.
It's why for this Mother's Day we gathered the following (in no particular rank) as a jump-start to drink-driven alternatives outside of the average afternoon tea service.
4. For Wine Connoisseurs: A.O.C. Winebar
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's decade-old A.O.C. Winebar is among the standard by which wine-pairing restaurants are measured in town. From the bacon-wrapped dates to the tomato confit flatbread, the menu features dishes carefully edited to complement the extensive winelist. Varietals from familiar wine regions are all there. 8700 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (310) 859-9859.
3. For Cocktail Afficionados: Rivera
Julian Cox's imprint can be found at more than one restaurant bar in L.A., but his handiwork at Rivera is particularly inspired. The mezcal-based Barbacoa with notes of chipotle and lime is practically a meal — with a strip of beef jerky as garnish. For vegetarians and vegans, the Rivera's Cup and Blood Sugar Sex Magic are similarly lush. 1050 S. Flower St. #102, Los Angeles; (213) 749-1460.
2. For Beer Buffs: Golden Road
The Atwater Village brewery and pub is a cross-generational beer hall. Bespectacled bike riders join the Land's End crowd in parking here for hours — with pints of Point the Way IPA or the signature Hefeweizen in hand. There is a comfortable conviviality, helped in large part by the easy flow between indoor and outdoor spaces as well as a food menu friendly to eaters from all walks of the dietary spectrum. 5410 W. San Fernando Rd., Los Angeles; (213) 373-4677.
1. For Coffee Lovers: Cognoscenti at Proof Bakery
Coffee still reigns in America as the favored source of caffeine — even centuries after the Sons of Liberty dumped chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. There is a Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City (which we enjoy), but on Mother's Day why not opt for Proof, where you can pair a cortado or cappucino with a chocolate caramel tart with Maldon sea salt or a slice of almond frangipane cake? Consider it a very small token of thanks for all those years your mother spent wiping — literally and figuratively — up after you. 3156 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 664-8633.
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