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Food

Rush Street's Cocktail Menu: Manhattans, Smokey Martinis and Berry Brambles, Oh My!

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We think we found our new favorite Manhattan cocktail: It's the Blood Orange Bitters Manhattan at the new Culver City restaurant/bar, Rush Street. Most versions of this drinking man's cocktail come on kick-ass strong but here at one of the busiest bar in the heart of Screenland, this one is tempered with the blood orange bitters making it lighter and dangerously drinkable.

Our new favorite drink is just one of the many yummy libations on Rush Street's sophisticated cocktail menu. Here, you'll find not the uber-sweet frou-frou drinks that populate most hotel and martini bars, but rather a wonderful ode to the classics. The bartenders at Rush Street, headed by Tom Roe (former bar manager of Ford's Filling Station across the street), got together one afternoon for a crazy tasting session and created this list of 16 (each $14). (More on the drink menu after the jump...)

After the Manhattan, we were still craving a whiskey drink but unfortunately the drink menu favors flavored vodkas. So we went with the Sapphire Smokey Martini which is a potent potion of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Seasoned Dewars and Dry Vermouth. This, unlike the Manhattan, didn't go down as easy. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Good, but a chest-hair grower for sure.

While we slowly nursed our cocktail, we tried some dessert to get the sensation back in our tongue. Bartender Steve had suggested the butterscotch pudding which had a fascinating history. Apparently, Verite Mazzola, the pudding's creator and the former pastry chef at Ford's Filling Station, got in a dispute with the restaurant's owner, Ben Ford, quit and took her patented pudding recipe next door to greenie-friendly restaurant, Akasha. But when chef/owner Akasha Richmond wanted to be let in on the secret recipe, Verite wouldn't give it up and was consequently let go. So she then took her pudding to Rush Street as she's still good friends with bartenders Tom and Steve, also formerly of Ford's.

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We had first fallen in love with this pudding at the restaurant's grand opening where they were given out in too-tiny cups. But here, we enjoyed a nice bowl of the good stuff topped with some pecans and whipped cream. It was soo thick, rich and creamy and we could have gone for another bowl. But back to the cocktails.

After finally finishing the smokey martini, we ordered the Culver Original Martini and things got blurry. This, like its predecessors, tasted like pure alcohol, pure and simple with no juices or liqueurs diluting it. Gasp! Cough, cough! Smoooooth.

If you'd like more ingredients in your cocktail, consider the following from the menu:

The Aviation: Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, creme de violette.

Port 9546: Corzo Tequila, ginger beer, Sandeman Tawny Port, fresh lime and bitters.

Berry Bramble: Grey Goose La Poire, Chambord, fresh lemon juice and blackberries.

Lemon Meringue Martini: Ketel One Citroen, Limoncello, fresh squeezed lemonade, fresh whipped cream.

No word yet on how often the menu is going to change but if you don't see any of these when you go in, you can always ask the talented bartenders to mix you up something tasty.

Rush Street
9546 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232 (map)
(310) 837-9546