January 14, 2014

Photo Essay: Honeycut's Cocktails & Dancing, Behind the Scene (Closed as of 2019)

[Last updated 6/5/19 10:13 PM PT—Honeycut closed at the end of 2018.]

After plenty of brewery and winery tours, it seemed like the right time to explore a little behind the scenes of LA's cocktail culture, still burgeoning but having grown exponentially in the last few years.

Just before Christmas, I visited Honeycut, an underground bar/club with a speakeasy-style entrance in the back alley. This was familiar to me as a New York imbiber, and rightly so: Honeycut was opened by co-owner Alex Day, whose New York pedigree includes Death & Co., the delicious dark den of the East Village.

His LA offering isn't in a hip neighborhood. He took over the basement of the O Hotel in South Park (more or less Downtown, near the Staples Center and north of the Figueroa Corridor), and, since it never had its own separate entrance, he created one for it from the alley.

Inside, it feels like one of those library-style lounges where you feel inclined to smoke cigars even if they aren't allowed, even if you don't actually like them.

The walls are painted various shades of blue and gray and bluish gray, though it's so dark, you mostly can't see them, even by the light of the banker's lamps...

...and other dimly-lit fixtures scattered around stuffed leather couches. It's something familiar from my time in New York, but like nothing I've seen yet in LA. (Then again, there's a lot more to see.)

As a patron of such places, nowadays you get to spectate a lot of fine mixology - stirring, vigorous shaking, ice-breaking, foams, bitters and syrups -

...but what you never get to see is what happens behind behind the bar.

Liquors are being infused.

Juices are being squeezed.

Kegs are being tapped...

...and pressurized cocktails are readily available on draught.

Those cocktails on tap come in handy when you're dancing in Honeycut's disco and need a (good) drink fast.

Thanks to deLaB for hosting its holiday party at Honeycut and giving us a look!

For some great, well-lit interior shots, click here (Eater LA).

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