Hurry, Hurry…Take the A Train to Traxx Bar at Union Station

on 15/02/12 at 10:21 am

a woman walks into a bar..., BoozeBlog

I needed a drink. In a hurry. A bad week will do that. So, I cajole my friend, Bea, to join me because my friend Bea is a great drinking companion, and while she is in her golden years, she can drink anyone under the table. She totally has a hollow leg. I’ve only seen her ‘schnokered‘ once and that was after 5 hours of wine tasting…but that’s another story. She is also a wealth of Los Angeles history so, appropriately, we head down to Union Station to the kickass bar at Traxx. Talk about stepping back in time! Relaxing time. Soothing bar. And now that Kurtis Wells is running the bar program, we knew we’d be up for some creative fusion cocktails. (Sorry, Kurtis, for your iPhone ‘silver eye’)

First of all, the bar is wonderful, all deco wood and comfy chairs, pretty backlit bar and you can actually carry on a conversation. You simply can’t beat the setting in gorgeous Union Station. We settle into a banquette and watch the world drop by. It’s even Happy Hour. We take a look at the menus and make a quick decision. Remember, I need this drink.

Classic Mojito

Bypassing my usual Manhattan, for a change, I go for the Classic Mojito. It just seemed fitting in that bar and I could use something refreshing. Oh, my what a beautiful drink. How tempting is it to guzzle a mojito? Very easy but I refrain. Bea, the boozehound, orders a Shiso Leaf infused vodka martini. Beautiful! Shiso is an extraordinary Japanese leaf  – some call it Japanese basil but it’s from the mint family, as is basil – and it has a taste that’s hard to describe but it’s sort of, kind of, minty bitter basil. Like I said, indescribable but delectable.

Here come our happy hour snacks…venison carpaccio, fries, crab cakes…all super good. We order drink number two. Bea orders another Shiso Leaf vodka martini – she’s absolutely addicted to Kurtis’ infused vodkas (I hope I can roll her outta here) – and I go for a Manhattan. Kurtis sends over a sample of the Shiso Leaf & Lemon Grass infused vodka. OMG. This nectar of the gods is like swallowing a flower, conjuring wistful thoughts of running through fields of dewy grass and herbs on a spectacular sun-filled day. If I hadn’t had my Manhattan, I would totally have gotten this. It takes the Shiso leaf infusion and bumps it up a notch…or two or three. This will be my go-to drink at Traxx. In fact, I will make it a destination…it is that good. Kurtis is also an expert sake aficionado and will be introducing special sakes in the coming weeks, so if you want to be schooled in sake, go hang with Kurtis. I can’t wait to go back. And, unsurprisingly, Bea has expressed a similar sentiment.

Bea at the banquette. Silver eyes courtesy of iPhone.

Traxx Bar
800 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles, Ca. 90012
Traxx Bar also open Sundays 1:30pm-8:00pm

Shiso Leaf Vodka Martini




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