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Culinary Cocktailing: Mezze Revamps Its Bar And Cocktail Program

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In a move not dissimilar to that of Grant Achatz's Aviary in Chicago, Mezze will pull on the culinary knowledge of their kitchen staff rather than an outsourced mixology consultant to fuel its new bar program. Taking the trendy term "chef-driven cocktails" to the next level, sous chef Jonathan Whitener will launch the new program today. Whitener will be using house-made bitters and locally-sourced ingredients that are reflective of the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cooking chef Micah Wexler is known for at the West Hollywood restaurant.

The bar itself has also gotten a makeover with stylish rustic wood-panels. High-top tables and a luxurious banquette have replaced the low-slung lounge tables that used to sit at the entrance. Cocktails on the new menu range from playful to classic. The Deli Juice cocktail is evocative of traditional Jewish deli fare, combining gin with dill pickle, Serrano pepper, and mustard seed. There's also the Sumac 75, a Mediterranean twist on the WWII-era cocktail that uses rose champagne, Cocchi Americano, pomegrantate, and sumac -- a smoky Middle Eastern spice. Click through the gallery to see what's in store.