This Wednesday, May 21, Beverly Hills will glow red, but not from a wild fire or gaudy sunset. The warm hues will come from Crustacean, which launches its Red Hour, a color-coded happy hour, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Don't try to get in if you don't have an invitation. Only 60 considered sufficiently elite will be admitted. Miffed that you're not on the list? Never mind. Red Hour will be open to the public starting Thursday and thereafter Monday through Friday. The only day you can't go is Wednesday, which will remain exclusive.
This means you'll miss Wednesday's hot live music series, which continues for six weeks. And you won't see the lounge turn into a red light zone, or the bar and aquarium turn red, which happens only on Wednesdays. But you won't miss everything. You'll still get to taste Crustacean chef Helene An's new lounge menu, which has snazzy dishes just for Red Hour, and a couple of bright red cocktails.
Still upset? Shhhhh - there's a way that you might sneak in on Wednesdays. You can post a photo of yourself on Twitter wearing anything red with the hashtag #RedHour @CrustaceanBH.
Meanwhile, on other days you can taste Red Hour specialties such as a beef taco composed of beef tongue, pickled heirloom beets, avocado, bean sprouts and cilantro stuffed into a crisp wonton shell, a lobster mousse ball, grilled calamari with peanut sauce and a chicken meatball with gochujang sauce.
What you won't want to miss is Crustacean's Centennial Wagyu beef, which was created in honor of Beverly Hills' centennial celebration this year. It's the latest dish to come from the An Family Secret Kitchen, where food is prepared in super privacy. To see what goes on in there, you have to be a member of the family or have worked as a chef at the restaurant for more than 10 years.
But you are allowed to know that the beef is seasoned with An's secret rub and a paste made from the herb rau ram. The Red Hour cocktails aren't secret, though. They're sexist, in that one is for guys and the other for women - married women, apparently, judging from the name Mrs. Red.
If you don't make the cut for this Wednesday's Red Hour, you can still have a red drink, but you'll have to make it yourself. And there's no discrimination. Guys can drink Mrs. Red too.
From: Crustacean restaurant
Yield: 1 serving
2 slices fresh red chile
1 slice strawberry
¾ ounce French vanilla syrup
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce St. Germain liqueur
1 ½ ounces vanilla vodka
Chile slices and mint for garnish
1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the red chile and strawberry slices.
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2. Add the vanilla syrup, lemon juice, St. Germain and vodka. Shake well with ice.
3. Strain into a martini glass. Float red chile slices on top or garnish with mint and a chile slice on a wood pick.