The folks behind Table20 came up with the question, “Who is LA’s Best Bartender?” and decided back in June to come up with a multi-step process utilizing nominations and experienced judges to try and come up with an answer. The nomination process (as seen on their contest thread here) explains the steps as to how decisions were made to narrow down the promising list of bartenders to just six. Caroline on Crack, Chris Archibald, Food She Thought, kevinEats & Vixen’s LA Happy Hours were the judges for this competition.
Happy Birthday to me! I ventured out with my friend to the Takami Sushi penthouse, 21 stories above beautiful Downtown LA where 100 guests were invited to find out the 2010 Best Bartender of Los Angeles. On their time off, the bartenders created their own personal, rum-based punches(hot or cold) for the guests to sample. From a hot cider punch to a cold, Greek yogurt-pistachio concoction, guests were exposed to some very unique drinks and some entertaining, hospitable bartenders.
Around 8:45, the hosts asked the guests to congratulate the nominated bartenders as they lined up, waiting for the announcement of the first ever “Best LA Bartender.” After announcing the nominator award, Matt Biancaniello from Library Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was given the honor of winning. He was already the “people’s choice winner” – the bartender with most nominations and votes in the preliminary rounds. I guess the judges agreed with the community and denoted him with the title.
Névé Luxury Ice station for guests to pick up and head over to the bartender booths.
Guests enjoying the views from Takami as well as the punches and bartenders.
Dee Ann Quinones’s “Jamaica Agua Loca” – Don Q black beard spiced rum, hibiscus dried flowers, orange fresno chili peppers, fresh lime & lemon juice & cucumbers
Devin Espinosa of Venice’s Tasting Kitchen entertaining the crowd while serving his “Irie Punch”
The top 6 bartenders waiting for the announcement of LA’s Best Bartender.
Table 20’s Best LA Bartender, Matt Biancaniello serving out his punch to invited guests.
Winner Matt Biancaniello’s “Queen of the Night” – Don Q Anejo Rum, Greek Yogurt, Lime Juice, Agave, Mango, Toasted Crushed Cumin Seeds & Shaved Pistachios
Congratulations again to Matt and the other bartenders nominated! The event was a fun and creative way for Angeleno patrons of the night to get to know the geniuses who mix their drinks a little bit better as well as be a part of an exciting finale to a fun competition.
– gmangoman a.k.a. Hemang