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COCKTAILS on the eDGe black Market Liquor bar he San Fernando Valley is like Los Angeles’s oft-derided kid sister. Trust me: I am a proud born-and-bred Valley Girl who has found myself, on more than one occasion, defending my fair home’s honor, praising her ample parking lots and touting her abundance of fresh, delicious sushi joints. But in truth, it hasn’t always been so easy to get a killer cocktail in the SFV until recently, when Studio City’s Black Market Liquor Bar bounded into my life like a cocktail caboose loaded with fresh ingredients, incredibly talented staff and, oh yes, really, really well-made drinks. T “The Black Market theme is all about being a find,” explains Bar Manager Tricia Alley, a fellow Valley Girl who came to Black Market after work- ing in some of L.A.’s hottest mixology accounts and who enjoys the just-off-the Blvd. appeal the bar/restaurant boasts. “But we’re also about that market program, relying on only the best and fresh- est ingredients,” says Alley, who has developed relationships with local growers and frequents farmers markets as often as any chef de cuisine. “It’s really farm-to-glass.” “Black Market is the kind of place where you need to get on your mixologist geek pocket protector,” laughs Alley referring to the menu’s sophisticated, chic yet serious offerings. From The City Fizz, a light, refreshing concoction made with Pernod Absinthe, gin, lime, cucumber, mint and egg white, to the Smokin’ Monk, made with Yellow Chartreuse, these are cocktails that carry some serious clout. “We try to bring together flavors and ingredients that are simple, yet complex,” says Alley. “We strive to bring exciting, new ingredients people might not have had before,” she continues, referring to products like handmade orgeat or genever, which consumers may have seen on cocktail menus before but that haven’t entered the popular lexicon yet. This “try-it-you-know-you-want-to” mentality extends to the kitchen as well, where Consulting Chef Antonia Lofaso of Bravo TV’s Top Chef over- sees a talented kitchen staff churning out the likes of alligator sausage po’ boys, deviled quail eggs, a shaved fennel and watermelon salad and some of the best crispy poussin this writer has ever had. With food and drink this good, ease-of-parking is clearly just the icing on the cake for future diners and drinkers who will make the reverse trip to the Valley, or as I like to call it, Home Sweet Home. OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOp WORRyING AND LOVE THE VALLEy story and photos by Rachel Burkons Tricia Alley muddles fresh ingredients for The City Fizz, made with Pernod Absinthe. Tricia Alley and Black Market GM James Michael Bobby share a laugh over a Fields of Gold, made with Bulleit Rye and handmade orgeat. august 201 1 / the tasting panel /

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