Once considered an exotic and provocative ingredient, cannabidiol oil has become commonplace in Los Angeles restaurants. Spring downtown offers a delicious three-course prix fixe CBD Power Lunch for $37, which promises to lift your mood and give a boost to your day.
The oils have a subtle effect that differs from person to person, but there definitely is an effect.
Bartenders and mixologists, for their part, are competing to find the perfect mix of spirits and low-THC hemp oils for the ultimate yin and yang. Here are some of our favorites.
Bluebird Brasserie, the recently opened Belgian brewpub in Sherman Oaks, offers a CBD cocktail called the Gentle Monk ($16). It's inspired by two classics, the Vesper martini and the sour.
The Vesper martini is a variation of the classic dry martini, invented by writer Ian Fleming in 1953's Casino Royale, where James Bond ordered a vodka martini shaken, not stirred.
What makes the Gentle Monk so gentle is that little squeeze of CBD. It features St. Georges absinthe verte, Citadella gin, lemon juice, aquafaba, Italicus, orange juice, Cocchi Rosa Americano, simple syrup and a CBD tincture.
13730 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 849-6970, bluebirdbrasserie.com.
As part of Otium's exquisite and diverse cocktail program, bar director Chris Amirault has created the Pineapple Express ($18). He shared his recipe with L.A. Weekly … or you can just belly up to the bar with a view of the Broad and have them make it for you:
¾ oz. Sipsmith Gin
½ oz. Farmer's Gin
1 oz. pineapple-infused Campari
½ oz. Lustau Vermut
¼ oz. vanilla syrup
1 dasher of Coconut CBD Oil Orange Twist
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake it up and pour over ice.
Otium, 222 S. Hope St., downtown; (213) 935-8500, otiumla.com.
In addition to CBD oil on Spring's food menu, the organic elixir can be added to any cocktail for an extra $5.
“This is a great way to enjoy an alcoholic beverage without the fear of future headache that often comes with enjoying cocktails. And the CBD elixir lowers the chance of waking up with a hangover,” says Spring assistant manager Victor Moreno. “CBD also almost instantly improves your mood and increases an overall feeling of wellness without that sluggish feeling that can come with drinking.”
Will Kleidon, founder of supplier Ojai Energetics, recommends it for your mimosa ($13).
Spring, 257 S. Spring St., downtown; (213) 372-5189, springlosangeles.com.
Pattern Bar in the Fashion District was the first downtown bar to serve CBD cocktails and infusions. The bar staff pairs their surroundings with specialty cocktails named after their favorite fashion designers, like the Chanel ($12) and the Lagerfeld ($13); there is a yummy selection of tapas as well.
“With one sip of the Armani ($18), our signature CBD cocktail, you will be captivated with its bursting flavors of Florentine elderflower liqueur, New Amsterdam gin, muddled lime, lemon, orange and mint. It's like sunshine in a glass,” general manager Eduardo Peres says.
The bar will add CDB to any cocktail for $5; that includes non-alcoholic drinks. “We believe the benefits of CBD provide our Pattern Bar customers with a unique experience because it has been proven to help with numerous health elements including anxiety, pain, depression and inflammation,” Peres says.
Pattern Bar, 100 W. Ninth St., downtown; (213) 627-7774, patternbar.com.
A couple of blocks from Staples Center in South Park, Prank is L.A.'s first indoor/outdoor two-story walk-up bar welcoming foot traffic through its floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
Signature cocktails include the Mon Frere ($16), made with Plymouth gin, cocchi Americano, limonene terpenes and Regan's orange bitters; and the Hilaria ($26), a refreshing concoction of Papalote mezcal, sherry, watermelon, honeyed apricot, citrus, limonene terpenes, bitters and herbs.
Terpenes are oils derived from cannabis but they contain no THC; they're said to offer medicinal properties ranging from anti-carcinogenic to anti-inflammatory. Prank owner Dave Whitton says limonene terpene may be beneficial in protecting against various cancers, and that orally administered limonene is currently undergoing clinical trials in the treatment of breast cancer. Some swear that limonene has been found to help promote weight-loss.
Four-legged furry friends are welcome in the dog-friendly patio.
Prank, 1100 S. Hope St., downtown; (213) 493-4786, prankbar.com.
We must pay homage to one of the city's most recognized mixologists, Jason Eisner, who together with beverage director Maxwell Reis launched the CBD cocktail craze in L.A. at Gracias Madre. It's still going strong with these libations, at $20 each:
Stoned Fruit: agave gin, black plum, apricot, yuzu, orange aperitif, cannabinoids
Sour T-iesel: tequila blanco, lime, agave, mint, matcha, aquafaba, cannabinoids
Rolled-Fashioned: mezcal anejo, bourbon, house sarsaparilla, aromatic bitters, cannabinoids
Stoney Negroni: gin, carpano, Turin Aperitivo, port wine, orange oil, cannabinoids
Gracias Madre, 8905 Melrose Ave., WeHo; (323) 978-2170, graciasmadreweho.com.
Bonus: If you're just looking for a cup of joe, Erewhon Natural Food stores throughout the city will add a dose of their wide variety of cannabis oils to any coffee or smoothie. There's a Good Day Shot of coconut milk, maca (a medicinal root from the Andes), espresso and CBD oil for $6. You can also enjoy a bottle of Hempermint, a 16-ounce minty, medicinal combination of raw hemp milk spiked with coconut water and CBD, for $16. erewhonmarket.com.