Retro Airline-Themed Bar's New Menu Has The Perfect Martini
Throwback bar Now Boarding has a host of new cocktails and food, including the best martini we've ever had and a Paloma you can drink out of a Squirt can.
The mid-century modern, aviation-themed lounge on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood is just over a year old and they've revamped their menu of creative libations, plus added some quick local bites courtesy of nearby Croft Alley that come served on airline trays.
Our favorite of the newest drinks is definitely the From Russian With Love. It's a simple cocktail, made with only Beluga Noble vodka and Dolin Blanc, garnished with cucumber and a cherry tomato. It's a martini with a clean, crisp taste. It's smooth and easy to drink, unlike other martinis that can be harsh. It's perfect for dirty martini lovers who are looking for something a little less briny.
On the sweeter side, we also loved the Mile High Mule—a fresh, fruity take on the Moscow Mule. It's made with Russian Standard vodka, mint and green apple ginger beer. What sets this apart from your standard mule is the house-made ginger beer, perfectly spiced with a kick of crisp apple.
The Mexican Dove is a refreshing paloma you can drink out of a Squirt can. Partida Blanco tequila, lime, grapefruit juice and Squirt are mixed over crushed ice in this photogenic throwback.
Those who enjoy tiki bars should like the Dr Rumack, made with Bacardi silver, Wray & Nephew, the quintessential Velvet Falernum, banana, fresh pineapple, lemon, clove, cinnamon and star anise.
Meanwhile, The Fly By consists of Botanist gin, Maurin Quina, Remy VSOP, Carpano Antica and cherry, served up. This drink has a strange taste that's slightly medicinal, but not unpleasant. Maurin Quina is a French aperitif that tastes of cherry and quinine.
Now Boarding has also added three sparking cocktails: The First Class Fizz consists of Pisco Porton, Aperol, lemon and prosecco, and the Virgin Flight is made with Optunia Prickly Pear Spirit and prosecco with a pomegranate soaked hibiscus flower in the bottom.
Destination Unknown takes Effen vodka and mixes it with vanilla, jasmine, lemon, strawberry and prosecco. While the latter is the sweetest of the trio, the strawberry comes through without being too sugary.
And if that's not enough, you can also get select boozy punches mixed up in a suitcase for $75 for a bigger group, something the bar has been offering for some time.
Cocktails range between $12 and $14. Happy hour is Tuesdays through Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and all night on Mondays, with deals including $8 classic cocktails, $6 wells and $3 Bud Light and PBR. There is live music on Thursday from 10 p.m. to close.
Now Boarding is located at 7746 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, 323-848-8447.