photograph above by Christine Solomon www.lamag.com
Melrose Avenue is known for creative and edgy offerings from artists who work with many mediums from performance to fashion, graffiti to sculpture, and food to beverage. Crafting specialty beverages is a thoughtful endeavor that is an art form unto itself, as baristas and mixologists are the new food & beverage rock stars. So of course, some of the best are brewing, shaking, and blending unique liquid delights on Melrose.
The Darkroom definitely keeps its theme immersive and tasty: rotating photo exhibits are translated into a specialty cocktail menu. Currently featured is the Coachella concert photography of Cody Black, Adam Elmakias, and Alex Rauch in DESERT STARS: THE LINEUP. To accompany are fresh and light (perfect for reliving a weekend in the heat) drinks Shandy’s at the Ace (with prickly-pear infused rum and sage blossom), Weekend Two (tequila with passionfruit, mint, and a serrano kick), and Neon Carnival (smoked lavender and meyer lemon meringue).
7302 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Monday – Friday 2p – 2a, Saturday – Sunday 11a – 2a
Also having boozy fun with a music theme is Snake Pit. Musical cocktails are presented playfully on the blackboard menu. Feeling cool and laid back? The Teddy Pendergrass might be for you: vodka, cucumber, and jalapeno in a martini glass. Need an excuse for taking off your shirt? A couple Lust for Lifes (whiskey and Blue Moon) will release your inner Iggy. Hit up the most excellent juke box to soundtrack your stay at the bar.
SNAKE PIT ALEHOUSE
7529 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Tuesday – Thursday 1p – 2a, Friday – Sunday noon -2a, Monday 5p – 2a
The Moscow Mule was developed in Los Angeles, and here it remains most popular.
Melrose Umbrella Co. makes an aptly named Melrose Mule that is good enough for breakfast, with a little citrus tang and warm spices. The traditional vodka and lime is elevated by ginger and cinnamon brown sugar syrup and blood orange juice. There’s always something clever and beautiful, seasonal and flavorful, happening at the Umbrella (be it with liquor or coffee), so enjoy some palette exploration.
MELROSE UMBRELLA CO.
7465 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Sunday – Wednesday 9a – 11p, Thursday – Saturday 9a – 2a
Maybe booze isn’t your thing, or it’s not 5 o’clock yet. The beverage artisans on Melrose are working with many other ingredients.
Cold brew, drip, espresso, nitro…wait, what?! Have you been dreaming of a coffee that has the look and feel of Guinness? Dream come true. It’s smooth and hearty, and lands beautifully in the cup as it comes, infused with nitrogen, from a tap. Grounded Café uses Stumptown, the Portland roaster favored by caffeine connoisseurs, to make all its coffee including the nitro so quality is high. Organic, flavored lattes are nice for those late-hour visits.
GROUNDED ON MELROSE
6715 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Monday – Friday 7a – midnight, Saturday and Sunday 8a – midnight
Get a different kind of kick with the BJC ginger shot at Blu Jam. It’s pretty simple – fresh squeezed ginger juice, a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a sprinkle of cayenne – but it is guaranteed to awaken all your senses. Full disclosure: pure ginger juice, while incredibly good for you, is STRONG, so feel free to ask for a little extra lemon or less pepper to ease the palette. The energy and clarity of mind that comes with this precious cup of juice is addictive.
BLU JAM CAFÉ
7371 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Daily 8a – 4p
Not all smoothies are created equal, and it doesn’t take long to figure out Glow Bio takes its smoothies seriously. While there are many delicious and nutritious options on the menu to increase strength, energy, and vitality, there is one foundational drink that serves as a daily body support system. The Glowing Green Smoothie is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals delivered by a blend of seasonal greens, apple, pear, banana, and lemon.
7473 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Monday – Friday 8a – 8p, Saturday and Sunday 9a – 8p
NatureWell2 has its own unique selection of smoothies and juices. The NatureWell Special is a refreshing and healthful blend of coconut meat, coconut water, grapes, banana, strawberries, and agave. It’s a tropical punch of supernutrients. Adding dates, maca, or a little hemp seed makes a great thing even greater.
7261 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
daily 7:30a – 10p