The next stop on our whirlwind LA tour was Sunset Junction in the heart of Silverlake. This little corner at a bend in the road is home to the east side branch of Intelligentsia - famous for it's perfect espresso and Granada tile, The Cheese Store of Silverlake and Cafe Stella. I had been to each of those before, but I hadn't noticed Bar Stella - hidden away a few steps down from the Cafe toward the street. Jora and Desi had been here a few months earlier and wanted to recreate their experience, and once I entered I could see why.
The ritual (because we definitely plan to repeat this again) involves stopping in the Cheese Store of Silverlake for cheese stuffed dates, grilled on the panini press. Those are carried, wrapped in paper, to the bar, and set out to wait for drinks to arrive - then consumed with a delicious beverage while still warm and gooey. I can vouch for the fact that they pair nicely with a glass of chilled rose, but I'm sure any one of their cocktails would be equally delightful. (The C. Arthur was strongly recommended by the young man seated to my right.)
It's hard to imagine a better place to while away an hour or two, and that's exactly what we did. We chatted with the bartender and a few other patrons, listened to some good mellow music, enjoyed the afternoon light filtering in through the doorway from their small Moroccan style patio, and soaked up the pleasure of spending an afternoon with favorite girlfriends in a lovely spot.
We also plotted our next move - which would include dinner. Since the trip was planned on short notice, we hadn't been able to get a reservation anywhere - so we figured our best strategy was to show up somewhere early. We contemplated Lucques, L&E Oyster bar and Mozza, but we all really wanted to try Son of a Gun, so we figured we would try that first and head somewhere else as a backup.
On our way into Bar Stella, we popped in to Bar Keeper, just around the corner - it's a boutique liquor store and cocktail supply shop with a huge selection of bitters, a wall of top shelf liquor choices, and lots of vintage cocktail glasses, shakers and accessories. They specialize in bitters - displayed below - and Desi picked up a bottle of Yuzu bitters that she handed to the bartender and asked him to make her a drink. He came up with a refreshing gin concoction that she absolutely loved. Win win.
So, let's recap. Other than a short stop at Broome Street General Store for a delightful visit with Elizabeth , Elodie and delicious baby Francesca, we spent our day eating, shopping, drinking and eating, in that order. Oh and eating some more, if you count our stop at The Pie Hole on the way home. Yup, it was pretty much bliss from one end to the other!
Next up - Dinner at Son of a Gun, then back to San Diego!