Perch - "Aperitif Hour"
by Tara Redfield
Sometimes I wish I could fly. Just grow some wings, fly up, and escape the city. I'll never be able to fly like a bird, but, this week I at least wanted to go to a happy hour that was different and a little out of the way. I wanted a new and unpredictable experience to get a new perspective. I was feeling bored and out of the loop. Research led me to Perch, a new rooftop bar and French Bistro downtown. It sounded like the perfect place to stretch my "wings."
I met Brooke at her apartment in Los Feliz, then we took the metro downtown. We got off at the Pershing Square stop on the red line and didn't have to go much further from there. We found the tall 448 South Hill Street building and read "Perch" on a bronze plaque next to the doorman's square shoulder. "All the way up to 13, then up to 16" he answered before we could even ask.
We hopped off the second elevator and there it was, a truly stunning view of the downtown bouquet of lit buildings that was LA. The bar hadn't filled up yet, so we found two stools and looked over our happy hour menu options with our beaks pointed down.
The edible menu options were not abundant. Listed were mixed nuts, chicken cordon bleu poppers, rabbit rillette (a fatty meat spread), and buttermilk marinated frogs legs. Nuts were not exciting, chicken was a sure bet, rabbit would be interesting, and frogs legs were just not for me at this time. So that was it, the cordon bleu poppers and rabbit rillette were to be sampled!
The beverage list was more expansive. There were selected wines, flavored liqueurs that could be added to champagne, such as Crème de Peche Peach and Crème de Cassis, cocktails, and beer all between $5 and $7. I ordered the French 64: Cognac, Elixir Ginger Syrup, Peche Lambic and Kronneburg 1664. My weeks-worth of worries evaporated with every gingery-crisp sip. It was one of the best cocktails I've had in a long time and I have a feeling I might start to crave it from time to time.
We were starting to feel the alcohol and the heavy eyes of the men next to us when the dishes arrived. I couldn't wait to try the poppers. They were round and crispy. I imagined them hitting my tongue and melting into my throat then falling, soft as a feather, on the floor of my stomach. My imagination had proved slightly better than reality. The meat was not as juicy and moist as I was hoping for, it was tough, maybe a bit over cooked? I was a little disappointed, but ate them anyway. The rabbit rillette was good I'm sure, as far as rabbit meat goes, but I had nothing to compare it to. I also had terrible thoughts of little Peter Cottontail being made into dinner, which kept my fork from taking more than a few bites.
After a final lap around the luxurious outside deck, complete with fireplaces, and as mentioned before, a magnificent city view, we called it a night and flew the coop...or Perch rather.
448 S Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
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