Punch Bar | Pasadena

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From the creative mind behind Corazon de Miel and Whim Kitchen, Robin Chopra, and new comer Darwin Manahan, comes Old Town Pasadena’s latest addition, Punch Bar.

Offering a menu like no other, Punch Bar co-owners Chopra and Manahan take patrons on a unique drinking experience right from the start. The sophomore bar is located in Old Town’s west end on the corner of Colorado and Pasadena Avenue; marked with a red door and requiring a ring of a door bell, the entrance to the speakeasy is an experience within its itself.

Once inside, expect a warm greeting by the bar staff as they seat you and spell out the night’s specialty drinks. Crafted by hand, down to the decorative sculptured ice cubes, Chopra and Manahan create hand-thrown punch cocktails that are both bold and unique in flavor.

Patrons are invited to enjoy hand-made specialty cocktails, punch bowl servings (4 to choose from), or even classic drinks if you’re feeling less adventurous. While traditional favors and ingredients, like cucumber, orange, and lemon, are used to create these selections, Punch Bar and its’ innovative mixologists also include some unique spices and garnishes.

What’s more, the preparation of each drink is where the true experience lies. Chopra and Manahan make sure to give a bit of background of each ingredient included in each creation. Including traditions and insight into the culture associated with the flavors, spices, and practices, this incredible duo truly make drinks that inspire the imagination and take mixology to a new level.

REVISION: Punch Bar will relocate to a new location in 2015. 

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Milkfarm LA | Eagle Rock

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With summer just around the corner, Los Angeles natives are gearing up for a season of outdoor fun, live entertainment, and of course great picnic foods! This year, be sure to head to the northeast LA neighborhood of Eagle Rock, where you’ll find the best in all picnic essentials. Milkfarm LA, a family-run cheese shop on Colorado Blvd., offers a diverse selection of artisan products including cheeses, meats, and olives– perfect for snacking during any summertime activity. This local cheese shop is the creation of six-year veteran and ex-pastry chef of The Cheese Store of Silverlake, Leah, who incorporates her love of locally grown ingredients into Milkfarm’s seasonal menu. As part of the menu, Milkfarm LA offers handcrafted artisan sandwiches (pictured above), local beers and wine pairings for all cheese and meat platters. Staying true to its mission of using only the best of locally grown products, Milkfarm LA has partnered up with Eagle Rock Farms to bring customers an authentic taste of its LA residency. So next time you plan on having some outdoor summer fun, be sure to stop by one of LA’s bests and hit up Milkfarm LA (website) at its 2106 W. Colorado Blvd. location in Eagle Rock.

Good Girl Dinette| Highland Park

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Simple is always best and Good Girl Dinette is proof of it. Located in the historic brick house district of the Northeast LA neighborhood of Highland Park, this Vietnamese restaurant offers a menu full of authentic flavors and old family recipes, made from locally grown ingredients. With bold flavors and an innovative culinary eye for quality dishes, Good Girl Dinette keeps it simple and let’s its food do all the talking. Start your order with a few Rice Cakes with Crisp Scallion Tofu ($5.50) and a side of Spicy Fries ($5). As a main entree, try their Galangal Chicken Bahn Mi ($9) or Vegetarian Curry Rice Dish ($12). Top off your meal with a Vietnamese-Styled Iced Coffee ($3.50), made from fresh pressed French coffee beans and condensed milk, for the ultimate Good Girl experience. To see the entire Good Girl Dinette breakfast and lunch menu, visit their website or drop by at 110 N. Avenue 56, Highland Park. And remember, keep it simple.