For more than a decade, sommelier and Maryland native Drew Langley was the guy heading up the wine program at Providence, pairing coveted vintages and boutique varietals with chef Michael Cimarusti's acclaimed seafood dishes (the list includes over 400 bottles and 30 wines by the glass). Before that, Langley spent time at some of L.A.'s now-closed temples of fine dining including L'Orangerie, Bastide and Citrin. Fun fact: He's also a big drum-and-bass fan.
These days you'll find him at the slightly more casual Kali, the new restaurant on Melrose that Langley opened alongside his longtime best friend, chef Kevin Meehan. And even though Kali bills itself as a neighborhood restaurant first and foremost, it comes as no surprise that its wine collection is up there with many of the city's top restaurants.
Of course, man cannot live on wine alone. To find out what Langley drinks after his shift is over, we asked him about his favorite spots to L.A. to knock one back.
Scotch Service at République
“It has all the perfect sides and ingredients needed to enjoy the spirit however you want it — ice, water, soda, etc. And served tableside, it becomes a full experience that’s a must-try if you’re a whiskey fan.”
Stiegl at Bar Covell
“L.A.’s best wine bar is often overwhelming with so many amazing selections. In order to focus on the people I’m with and not get too distracted, I keep it simple with this clean and refreshing Euro lager practically every time.”
Bloody Mary at Connie & Ted’s
“Beverage director Hoang Nguyen makes his own Worcestershire, which elevates this brunch staple to perfection.”
Natty Boh at Hungry Cat (during Crabfest)
“Being from Maryland, I'm nuts for blue crab. The classic accompaniment is National Bohemian Beer (aka Natty Boh), originally brewed in Baltimore. It’s served only one day a year here, which I haven't missed in the last 10. It’s like Christmas in July.”
Shot of Jameson at the Prince
“This place has remained under the radar for as long as I have been living in Koreatown (since the '90s). Kevin and I have often decompressed here after service over the years and appreciate being able to get a quiet booth.”