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Bow & Truss: Legit Cocktails & Sophisticated Spanish Fare in NoHo

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It's not that you can't get a good drink in North Hollywood...because you can. There's Tiki No's affordable and kitschy menu of tropical concoctions, there's the East Coast ex-pat's delight pouring at the Brickyard, and a handful of bars and restaurants where you can tipple and nibble to your heart's content. But if you are a fan of cocktail culture, the well is no longer dry in NoHo, thanks to the debut of Bow & Truss in the heart of the Arts District.

The latest effort from the Knitting Factory team is a patio-centric Spanish tapas bar with a laid-back vibe, and a killer cocktail menu designed by Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello, who have set up some of the best drink menus and bars in town (The Spare Room, 1886, and Neat, to name a few). The space--once an auto shop--has been given a chic modern look that draws from the style of SoCal and the spirit of Spain.

At a small pre-opening gathering, Demarest explained that the drink list was inspired by the flavors of Spain, in both the use of sherry in several of the cocktails, as well as the need to consider the intense, but often muddy, flavors of Spanish dishes on the food menu with which the drinks will pair. The drink duo also took a queue from the rich and storied backstory of the neighborhood, which is evident in part by the famous "valley" folk names on the drinks, like the Lankershim Fizz. (That's Isaac Lankershim, one of the region's founding fathers, so to speak.)

With Bow & Truss' July launch, many of the drinks have that easy-to-sip refreshing quality that lend themselves perfectly to a warm summer evening, like the crisp Amestoy Swizzle, served over crushed ice in a tall, cool glass. Its description: "the Amestoy Family were Basque immigrants who were the last family to own and work the historic Encino Rancho. A true inspiration of Spanish Brandy, Amontillado Sherry, Velvet Falernum, and apple juice."

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Other standouts on the impressive cocktail list are the Sherry Cobbler, a revival of an 1880s favorite made with East India Sherry, Curacao, and berries of the season; the Pio Pico Crusta, with cucumber, Palo Cortado Sherry, Maraschino, and Lemon; and the aforementioned Lankershim Fizz, with Hendrick’s Gin, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, lemon, and egg white. Additionally, there are classic cocktails on this spirits-diverse list, as well as Spanish wines, sangria, and a nice selection of craft beers on tap. Cocktails run $10-$14, with most falling at $12--a great value for the caliber of ingredients and craftsmanship.

While so far we've only done some nibbling (like on a divine cheese platter) Bow & Truss' menu is ideal for sharing with friends or for a solo snack. The menu includes tapas like stuffed piquillo peppers, cornmeal coated fried smelt, and empanadas, and larger dishes like paella, as well as individual entrees.

Bow & Truss is open for dinner nightly, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.