The transfer of a popular New York City locale to Los Angeles is nothing new, and, despite the constant back-and-forth between residents and scenes, success in one seldom means success in the other. Apotheke LA, however, doesn’t fall prey to the usual attempts to be “authentically New York” nor insultingly Los Angeles. Instead, it delivers one of the most unique drinking experiences the City of Angels has to offer.
In New York, Apotheke is hidden behind an unmarked door on Doyer St. in Chinatown. In Los Angeles, Apotheke has taken root in Chinatown as well, but it’s parked at the furthest end of the neighborhood next to the L.A. River. It serves from a standalone structure adjacent to train tracks. The inside is dim with yellow lights and small booths giving it a speakeasy feel but with shape and decor more akin to a hacienda. There is a large patio featuring a three-quarter bar with views that face the tracks.
While the location and design of the bar are certainly noteable, it is the establishment’s evolutionary look at cocktails that makes it truly exceptional. Drinks on the menu include everything from cheese to bull blood, and more closely represent a 19th Century apothecary prescription list than they do the average cocktail menu. It’s truly an experience for those looking to further explore the roots of cocktail culture – where drinks were initially created as remedies – and to see how far they can be evolved in today’s handcrafted beverage market.
If you’re as interested in the idea of cheese in your cocktail as we are, order the Caught in the Nightshade, which sees Gin with Black Pepper, Artichoke Amaro, Lemon, and Sea Salt mixed with the aforementioned dairy product and garnished with cherry tomatoes. There is also a whole list of non-alcoholic cocktails for those wishing to join without ingesting alcohol.
Featuring an impressive range of ingredients and flavors, Apotheke LA pays tribute to the roots of the cocktail, while also pushing the boundaries of cocktail creation.
Find It Here:
1746 N Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012