After ordering a drink at this hip hotel bar, I noticed that the napkin stated ‘Sip Liquors Slowly.’ I wonder if that is how they came up with the name (SLS Hotel) . However, this is also a good piece of advice, the reason being that you DO NOT want to embarrass yourself in front of the movers and shakers who frequent this place on a nightly basis. Stay concerned with getting that delicate martini glass to your mouth without any spillage and you’ll be just fine.
Bar Centro located in the SLS Hotel on La Cienega in Beverly Hills opened in late 2008 and has yet to lose its touch. For this city, three years isn’t too shabby. Hopefully there will be many more.
Everyday of the week starting at 6pm, you will find the entertainment elite stop by for a quick meeting and a cocktail or for a taste of head chef and culinary innovator, Jose Andres‘ signature snacks.
As much as I would love to write about his unique culinary innovations, this site isn’t called tipsy diaries for no reason.
Now where was I – back to the alcohol. Have you ever heard of anyone using liquid nitrogen or organic emulsifiers in concocting a drink??? Or the science of molecular gastronomy when creating a drink??..I didn’t think so! Sounds more like something that belongs in outer space.
But yes, here on earth, Mr. Andres infuses his drinks with L.N. and O.E. and it is somehow safe and amazingly delicious to drink.
In addition to the extensive list of wines that are offered, there are a few specialty drinks that are sure to catch your eye.
I’ll start with the most basic of the drinks, a margarita. How can you go wrong, right?…Well, the description states ‘on the rocks with your choice of salt (kosher salt or “sal de gusano”)’. Now for anyone like me, I might say “I don’t know what sal de gusano is, but I’ll try it. Well after adding the ‘sal de gusano’ and having it be one of the best margarita’s I’ve ever had, I then found out what it was and I wasn’t too happy. As defined by the Spanish, this type of salt is “worm salt.” It is a combination of chile peppers, salt, and a roasted gusano (which is a caterpillar that lives off of the agave plant) eeeek! Sounds a little crazy, but I’m tellin ya, you’ve got to try it. A+
Now let’s get to some even crazier drinks…
Ever try a “Liquid Cherry Manhattan?”…(I think if a cherry is liquid it should no longer be called a cherry) or a “Salt Air Margarita?” topped with salt air…(I can’t even picture this one…salt air???…
How about a “New Way” Dirty Martini?…with olive spherification and olive brine air. Unless you’re part of the in-crowd with these ‘cocktail scientists’, I’ll assume that this is all new to you. Crazy enough, spherification involves making liquid-filled beads that “explode in the mouth with a pleasingly juicy pop” as stated by a writer at a gourmet magazine. It also involves calcium chloride and alginate. Somehow after a little of this and a little of that, the result is olive spherification.
Now after reading my speel on this, doesn’t this seem like the most intense drink ever?…and sure enough it’s made right behind the bar for you to witness.
And now onto my favorite drink, the “Magic Mojito“, which is a mojito strained over cotton candy. With the alcohol poured over a piece of the sweet stuff, it melts right into your drink for a sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail.
These are groundbreaking culinary feats that can all be experienced at Bar Centro at the SLS hotel.
Bar Centro, inside SLS Hotel, 465 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048