Much like L.A. Times last November, New York Times did the whole "mescal isn't just worm-embalming fluid" thing this week. If the coverage has you thirsting to try more of the smoky spirit, there are excellent examples of its ability to add layers of luscious complexity in cocktails served at Las Perlas, Caña, Bazaar, and Rivera. Tonight, Richard Sandoval's La Sandia starts its own happy hour, with a menu of five dollar margaritas plus three dollar tacos, torta sliders, and quesadillas for three hours at the tequila bar. And what's in the future?
Operations director Manny Flores tells us the beverage program here is still in its infancy, with plans to build the drink offerings around the bar's huge collection of tequila. The best cocktail here so far? Mezcal con pepin, which mixes the spirit with fresh cucumber, serrano, and lime, and rimmed with chile pequin salt. Happy hour starts at La Sandia tonight at 4:00 P.M. and ends at 7:00 P.M. at Santa Monica Place.