Looking for a cocktail bar where you can watch a sports game? Or a sports bar that serves good cocktails? And what about good food? Well, Brack Shop Tavern in Downtown Los Angeles is all of that!
Brack Shop Tavern is located on 7th between Grand and Olive, a street that has slowly been filling up with restaurants and bars including Little Sister, Bar Mattachine, Mas Malo and Bottega Louie. Brack Shop Tavern is run by Last Word Hospitality, which includes partners Angus McShane, Adam Weisblatt and Holly Zack, who also own Same Same Thai in Silverlake. At Same Same Thai, LWH took a neighborhood favorite Thai restaurant and updated the decor and added an interesting and diverse wine list to pair with the food.
LWH has done it again. They took the old dive bar called Barrel Down, stripped it and created Brack Shop Tavern, a loud, friendly sports bar with craft cocktails, on-tap beer, house-made sodas and hearty, elevated bar food.
Brack Shop Tavern has a small but creative wine list featuring domestic producers and interesting varieties. It is refreshing to go to a bar and to find wines like rose, chenin blanc, riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, sangiovese and cabernet saviginon. And for the sparkling wine, they offer a cremant de Loire, definitely not what I would expect but was very happy to see!
We decided to focus on cocktails and snacked on some freshly popped buttered popcorn with chermoula and nori while perusing the menu.
Clear & Present Danger (vodka, grapefruit liquor, verjus, vermouth) – Served up in a coup, the drink hits you with sweetness which quickly disappears into a smooth, easy-drinking cocktail.
Just Another Tequila Sunsrise (tequila, mezcal, passion fruit/cayenne syrup, hibiscus) – Served on the rocks, this drink is spicy and rich with a meatiness to it.
Pickled shrimp with fennel, red onion and chilies is a bight, refreshing dish, perfect to start the meal.
The Mediterranean salad with lentils, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and sumac yogurt is a light and healthy salad. The crunchy chickpeas are addicting.
The elote, grilled corn, is served off the cob which makes it very easy to share and eat. Prepared with garlic and lime aioli, manchego, cotija and lime wedge topped with chicheron, it is sweet, salty and buttery and is a must order dish.
The roasted pork empanadas with piri piri are delicious but the piri piri is spicy so I ordered a glass of Brooks Riesling from Willamette, Oregon to help cut the spice.
Crispy on the outside and juicy meat on the inside, the fried chicken wings and drums are another star on the menu, served with both smoked buffalo sauce and house bleu cheese.
Other items on the menu include street fruit, a chicken caesar, a mole taco, welsh rare bit, twice baked wee potatoes, tamales, a breakfast sandwich, a blat (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato), a patty melt and a sundae for dessert. The menu at Brack Shop Tavern is sort of all over the place but it works. Different flavors and small portion sizes mean it is easy to try lots of different things.
We finished with two final cocktails.
Strawberry Letter 23 (campari, dry vermouth, strawberry, lime, pink peppercorn) – Served tall with soda, this drink is a nice balance between sweet and dry.
Jersey Handshake (bourbon, apple brandy, tea-infused vermouth, benedictine) Served in a old fashioned class, the drink is rich and sweet with notes of caramel, apple and tea.
Next time your sports team is playing and you want to watch while sipping good drinks and eating tasty food, head to Brack Shop Tavern.
Brack Shop Tavern
525 West 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014