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Classic, With a Twist: The Bar at Cliff's Edge

Manhattan at the Bar at Cliff's Edge (Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)
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For years now, many a romantic date or dinner with visiting relatives has taken place inside the charming enclosed patio dining room of Silver Lake's Cliff's Edge restaurant. With a side room used as an overflow dining room languishing, an idea was recently born to transform the space into its own bar area, complete with a new cocktail menu and small bites, and its own distinct bar vibe.

A door once unused gives imbibers their own entrance to the new Bar at Cliff's Edge off Sunset Boulevard. The room was given a facelift, and in the coming days a central row of conventional dining tables will be replaced with tall high-tops for a more barroom vibe.

For a "classic" Silver Lake restaurant putting their own twist on the local bar scene, the cocktail motif of "Classics with a twist," is fitting. Nearly a dozen well-known drinks grace the list, though each one takes a slight riff on the traditional components, such as via the addition of bitters or oils.

The Bar at Cliff's Edge's Manhattan, for example, remains a strong, bold Rye drink, however here it's enlivened and not as syrup-sweet thanks to Meletti Amaro, Yuzu Bitters, and your choice of lemon oils or a Luxardo cherry.

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Other cocktails we sipped get twisted in a similar fashion; a distinctly bitter Negroni--perhaps more than your usual Negroni--is made with Bols Genever, Antica Sweet Vermouth, Gran Classico, and orange and lemon oils. The most decadent cocktail on the menu is the $20 Vieux Carré (Courvoisier VS, Thomas Handy Rye, Antica Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud and Angostura Bitters), which is incredibly smooth and intense, and great as either a shared second drink with a friend or loved one, or your one slow-sipper of the night. The other classics, among them a re-imagined Cosmopolitan, Martini, Old Fashioned, and Mojito, run $11-13.

Nibbles are perfect for sharing and snacking, and are priced $6-$8. A luxe Duck Foie Gras Parfait is an indulgent smear on toasted brioche points, a variety of crostini are fun bite-sized morsels, and the basket of fries with Gorgonzola sauce hard to resist.

The Bar at Cliff's Edge is hoping to find its niche not only within its own persistently popular restaurant, but in its community, where drinkers can head to the Esquire-lauded Bourbon-centric Thirsty Crow, or a number of other watering holes where classic cocktails aren't central to the experience.