The high-low culture of Los Angeles is particularly apparent in its restaurants these days, where chefs are honoring home-style cooking by adding comfort-food elements to their menus, perhaps bringing some gastronomic flair to the dishes but keeping the soulfulness intact.
Broken Spanish is a perfect example of the trend: an expensive, beautiful restaurant with a lot of awards to its name, and it serves fried chicken necks and rabbit meatballs. In fact, those two dishes are highlights of the happy hour menu at the bar, which is also playing around with crowd-pleasing recipes.
The current drink menu is a bit of a Mexico/tiki hybrid — and really, what could be more L.A. than that? Mezcal features prominently, as well as made-in-Mexico versions of ingredients more often associated with other countries, such as rum and bitters.
The tiki element comes from the liberal use of fruit and the relatively complicated layering involved in just about every drink on the menu. The Tranquilizer might represent the peak of the combination: cachaça, Mexican rum, Cynar, coconut cream, orgeat and lime. Plus it comes with a drink umbrella.
It's a big drink, too. You'll probably wind up staying for dinner. Good thing tiki cocktails are a great antidote to spicy food.
1050 S Flower St., downtown. (213) 749-1460, brokenspanish.com.