The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2018

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Page 44 of 124

44  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2018 OPENINGS A ny cocktail lover or industry veteran worth their salt has heard of the NoMad hotel. Known more for its exceptional food and beverage program courtesy of hospitality group Make It Nice than its hotel rooms, the NoMad bar is the hip- per, less formal sibling of Make It Nice's other dining establishment: the famed Eleven Madison Park. With a stylish lobby bar, a mezzanine dining area that gives a stunning view of the 1920s architecture, and restrooms within a former bank vault, NoMad has now landed in Downtown Los Angeles to make an indelible mark on the West Coast cocktail scene. Cocktails at NoMad come courtesy of Bar Director Leo Robitschek, who previously helped develop the cocktail programs at Eleven Madison Park and the New York branch of the hotel. The beverage program at the Los Angeles location features NoMad classics like the Nod to Nothing with gin, lemon, Cocchi Americano, jasmine pearl green tea, apricot liqueur, yuzu, and sage, as well as new creations like the Ma Cherie with Fino Sherry, lime, falernum, Green Chartreuse, celery, cucumber, and salt. According to Robitschek, NoMad's bar menu will change four times a year, with the cocktail approval process rivaling the rigorousness applied to vetting new dishes in the kitchen. "We host weekly research and development meetings in both cities, where our bar team can come to present ideas," he explains. "We ask all in attendance to come with an open mind and to be ready to both give and take constructive criticism." Robischek sources many of his ingredients from the chef-favorite Santa Monica Farmers Market, and produce gets a chance to shine in the "soft cocktail" list full of tasty and booze-free libations. Mocktails like the Peter Piper with pineapple, lime, black pepper, passionfruit, and white balsamic vinegar are as inviting as the hard cocktails—offering a reprieve from the typically soda/water/coffee options most bars offer for non-drinkers. "We wanted to have fun and diverse options for our guests who could not consume alcohol, or for guests that wanted to have a 'cocktail experience' without the added alcohol before they embarked on their multi-course dinner with pairings," Robitschek says. NoMad's next menu reiteration will see more Los Angeles–tinged cocktails as the hotel's clientele seek experiences they can't find anywhere else, Robitschek says. "I've been blown away by our guests' openness and willingness to be adventurous with their drinking habits," he adds. "Los Angeles has just been so gracious in welcoming us with open arms and adventurous palates." PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOMAD Landing in the Golden State NOMAD BRINGS ITS AWARD- WINNING COCKTAIL PROGRAM TO LOS ANGELES by Jesse Hom-Dawson The Ma Cherie cocktail is a cool refresher with Fino Sherry, lime, falernum, Green Chartreuse, celery, cucumber, and salt. NoMad Bar Director Leo Robitschek is a veteran of the beverage industry, having helped the New York establishment win a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. The sleek and luxurious Giannini Bar in NoMad's Los Angeles lobby is not your average hotel lounge.

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