I’m a big fan of The Little Door in West Hollywood, so when the opportunity arose to try out their sister location in Santa Monica, I was very eager to stop in and see what they had in store. When I arrived, I once again passed through an almost secret looking door and stepped inside a Mediterranean hideaway decorated with flickering candles, hanging vines and mosaic artwork. Head to the right to find a lounge and bar area set up with rustic chairs that are lined with mini sheepskin blankets.
Cocktail consultant, Vincent Marianella (pioneering the first farm-to-glass cocktails at Providence over 10 years ago), and head bartender, Sean Griffin, have created a fall cocktail line-up made with seasonal ingredients, housemade shrubs and syrups, and organic pressed juices. It’s all about freshness here. “Location, team, and theme influence what we make,” says Marianella. The team’s backgrounds, availability of product, demand and other factors contribute to his mixology choices when deciding what will make his libation lists.
The Little Door in Santa Monica’s fall cocktail menu is comprised of classics like the Boulevardier, French 75 and Vieux Carre, but also includes some popular national drinks like the Moscow Mule and a Blackberry Smash. Some unusual, yet tasty options are demonstrated with the Old Boy (Verbena-infused Beluga vodka, Vieux Garcon with stewed raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and organic lemon juice) and the Campanula Sour (Finladia Grapefruit Vodka, St. Germain, pressed red bell pepper juice, organic lemon juice, mint).
If you’re feeling feisty, I suggest veering off the beaten path and asking Griffin to whip you up an off-the-menu favorite: The Smoky Chile. It’s laced with Mezcal, grapefruit, lime, agave and a four-pepper rim. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.