Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zahra Bates at B-Side

On Wednesday B-Side Lounge at Rolling Stone continued its weekly guest bartender series with Zahra Bates of Providence behind the stick.  The proceeds of the evening went to benefit Japanese relief efforts towards the recent earthquake and tsunami tragedies.  Tricia Alley has been curating the series and on Wednesday Bates was not only making her own cocktail recipes but those of several other local bartenders such as Jason Bran, Brent Falco and Alley.

A highlight of the menu was Bates's Bamboo Gen made with Bols Genever, tokjai, manzanilla sherry, shiso bitters and a shiso leaf.  Genever can be hard to work with but when it works it really works and it did in the Bamboo Gen.  The shiso flavor acted as a unifying influence, bringing together the spirit and the two wines.  The Bamboo Gen is also a salute to two Los Angeles bartenders, Marcos Tello who has evangelized about Genever and Alex Day who has advocated for sherry in cocktails.

Go and see Bates at the bar at Providence to explore her other creations and be sure to stop by B-Side on Wednesday to see what Alley and her rotating guest bartender have up their sleeves this week.

Providence: 5955 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Phone: (323) 460-4170. Website: providencela.com

B-Side: 6801 Hollywood Blvd (entrance on Highland), Hollywood. Phone: (323) 464-4000


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  2. Thank you very much for posting this! I actually saw Zahra at Providence when I was showing Sommelier Drew Langley some sweet Tokaji from Patricius. She is one of the few tenders in LA who tastes wine too. Initially she blended it with gin alone to surprising effect what you tasted was the final result. What is ironic is that Alex Day and I have also been talking about Tokaji cocktails. Naturally he will take it in an entirely different direction. Mixing booze with wine is fun!! Thanks again for the post. Zahra rocks the rocks!

  3. Stetson - thanks for your comment. Zahra is indeed awesome. She is also the only bartender I know who purposely avoids working on the money nights of Friday & Saturday. You should sit at her bar mid-week and let her show you her magic.