LA’s best boozy party last night wasn’t in Hollywood or on the Sunset Strip. It was in a small, dark bar tucked in a strip mall in middle-of-nowhere Glendale. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Neat is a welcoming, come-as-you-are bar in Glendale. Serving primarily neat spirits accompanied by a refreshing sidecar, Neat provides a glimpse of how bartenders drink when they aren’t behind a bar. Local cocktail legend Aiden Demarest (The Edison, First & Hope, The Spare Room, Seven Grand… impressed yet?) opened Neat last October, and it’s laid back vibe and talented bartenders keeps the place busy despite being an area without any foot traffic.
One of Neat’s talented bartenders is Cari Hah (formerly of the Blue Whale Bar) and Cari’s got sangrita on the brain. Cari and Jaymee Mandeville (Drago Centro) “crafted with love” five original sangritas and the beautiful, spunky duo is taking the menu on tour.
The tour kicked off at Neat last night, and boy, was it a party. Lots of familiar faces getting their sangrita on, including The Minty, Tien Nguyen (LA Weekly) LushAngeles, Jen Len (Drago Centro bartender), Spencer Cruse (Sommelier at Drago Centro), Thirsty in LA, e*star LA, and many more.
Last night’s sponsor was Milagro Tequila and Siete Leguas will be sponsoring the tour’s next stop at Las Perlas on Tuesday May 29, 2012.
Bringing the fun(k) was DJ Anthony Polcino. He had quite the challenge – while half of the people were there to do some serious sangrita drinking, there was an Armenian graduation party taking up most of the place. We’re talking catered food, balloons, and they even brought their own Armenian dance CD.
Anthony is the kind of guy that wants every single person to be happy, so catering to this mixed crowd was probably frustrating for him and hilarious for the rest of us. As always, he pulled through. You can find him DJing at City Tavern Fridays and Saturday nights, or rocking out at clubs like The Viper Room and Harvard and Stone with his awesome bands Beat Club & Soft Pipes.
It was so much fun, that for the second time in my life, I walked out on my tab. Apparently, The Minty and I drank more than we thought – the tab we split was just hers, not ours. Treasure Tip: If you want to get away without paying your tab, don’t friend the bartenders on Facebook.
Someday I’ll be able to afford the car payment and have a place where I can handle a dog so I can finally steal Jaymee away from Jeremy.
Aiden, I love your bar, but you must be stricter about kicking out fools that lay down in Neat. They act like they own the place or something.
The Ultimate LA Question: Was it worth driving across town for?
Hell ya. I’ll see you for Round 2 at Las Perlas on Tuesday!
“Walk in my shoes and cross my path
Game was for grabs, making ‘em crash
Took in a section and giving they back
Fuck the money, fuck the fame, this is real life
An insight to my trill life”
1114 North Pacific Avenue
Glendale, CA 91202