Thursday, May 26, 2011

Drink It. Stark Bar at LACMA [Thirsty Thursdays!].

Ever since Chris Burden's "Urban Light" piece was installed, LACMA's become a great spot to see and visit at night. But there's never been any other real reason to come at that time. Until recently, that is. The museum recently celebrated the opening of a new wing along with the opening of Ray's restaurant and the Stark Bar. Having found ourselves in the neighborhood for the night, D and I stopped in for a nightcap at the Stark Bar and were very pleasantly surprised.

Stark Bar is located right behind the light installation, which provided a nice backdrop to the outdoor space. And with fun comfortable seating at the bar and at tables just beyond, as well as a funky video piece repeating on the TV screens, you're always reminded that you're at a museum -- which I thought was pretty cool. Stark keeps the menu simple and easy (Ray's undertakes the fancier and bigger meals), with cocktails, wine and a small plates menu. We stuck with just the cheese plate, which had great flavors, but the flatbreads our neighbors were having looked quite delicious too. My highlight, though, was definitely the cocktail: the Ray's Swizzle (seen above, with a glass of red wine) was a mixture of rum, lime juice, pineapple syrup, blackberry and orange, and absolutely delightful. Just the right amount of sweetness and alcohol. Plus, the service -- the restaurant and bar are part of the well-respected Patina Group -- was great too.

So if you're ever in the mood for art and cocktails, you really can't beat Stark Bar. But I would go so far that it's worth visiting anytime. And you can't forgo a picture with the lights.

And on a special note: the bar is having a Taste of Stark Bar special going until May 31, where you can have wine for $5, cocktails for $6, and a flatbread and Copper Hook beer for $12, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-6:30pm. And don't forget that the Tim Burton exhibit is set to open this weekend! Enjoy!

Stark Bar is located at LACMA, at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. in Miracle Mile.

--Chau Tu

Photo credit: the BEAT

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