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The Best Bloody Marys in L.A.

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As the story goes, the first version of the famous bloody mary cocktail was created in the 1920s by barman Fernand Petiot at Harry's Bar in Paris. But it wasn't until the tomato and vodka-based drink was brought to New York that it was spiced up into the version we know today. Now it's become a staple in day-drinking, and it's easy to see why: the bloody mary is hearty, savory, spicy, and can even be masked as a way to take in some lycopene. And with all those garnishes, it could even be considered a meal in a glass. Whatever your reason for drinking them, you'd better be sipping the best. Here are the top tier marys in L.A.


Photo of the 1886 bloody mary by Krista Simmons/LAist
Sit under the canopy of wisteria on the patio at this old Pasadena craftsman on a sunny afternoon, and you'll find it hard not to order a cocktail. Though the menu at 1886's bar boasts some innovative drinks that might tempt you away from the classics, the bloody is definitely worth a try. It's made with quality tomato juice, and isn't overdressed with all sorts of garnishes. Just some citrus, a cuke, and a couple olives. It's savory perfection on a Sunday.

1886 is located at 1250 S Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 441-3136

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Hungry Cat
We'd be hard-pressed to think of a better combination than a half dozen Malpeque oysters on the half shell and a Hungry Cat bloody mary. Apparently the restaurant agrees with that sentiment; their Maryland Mary is served with a spicy-salty rim and an oyster shooter on the side.

Hungry Cat is located at 1535 Vine Street, Hollywood, (323) 462-2155

Cole’s Original French Dip bartender Brent Falco makes her bloody mary with a few distinct ingredients that really take it over the top: celery seed as opposed to the celery salt that you'll find in most recipes; meat rub; and juice from their astonishingly good atomic pickles. We love the briny flavor of her kickin' bloody, probably because our at-home recipe includes jalapeno juice. And we're not alone in our obsession; Falco's mary is unanimously called out as one of the city's best.

Cole's is located at 118 East 6th Street, Downtown LA, (213) 622-4090

El Cid
This Silverlake Spanish restaurant might be known for their flamenco performances, but the real show stopper are their new "meal marys," which truly are a meal in a glass. And we're not talking Muscle Milk. They are $15 per pint, and include everything form manchego cheese to steak. There are a few varieties, including the Breakfast Mary (bacon strips, boiled egg, and potatoes), a Spanish Mary (manchego cheese, Serrano ham, spanish olives, Spanish pimento peppers), Mexi-Mary (premium agave tequila topped with pico de gallo, a jalapeno, chips and a 7 oz .Coronita on the side), and the Surfin’ & Turfin’ Mary (sliced steak served with shrimp and a dash of A1 steak sauce).

El Cid is located at 4212 W Sunset Boulevard, Silverlake, (323) 668-0318


Photo of The Churchill's $6 bloody mary courtesy of The Churchill
The Churchill
The rustic industrial digs at this West Hollywood restaurant make for the perfect place to lounge on a weekend, sipping on $6 bloodies and noshing on brunch. Order their affordable cocktail with a side of a Churchill signature breakfast sandwich made with farm eggs, Vermont cheddar, bacon, avocado, and tomato jam and you'll be fueled up for a day of socializing.

The Churchill is located at 8384 West 3rd Street, West Hollywood, (323) 655-8384

Back before it was made illegal, Fig at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel used to offer foie gras and bacon bloody marys. Those days have come and gone, but their bloody mary is still solid. There are a variety to choose from, including one made with watermelon. But our favorite is the smoky bacon bloody made with bacon-infused gin instead of vodka, fresh tomato juice, a bacon slice for a garnish.

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Fig is located at 101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, (310) 319-3111

MB Post
MB Post makes one of the best brunches in the West, and their bloody mary is one of the stars of the show, made with Tito's, dill, tomato, and picante, and then topped with a quail egg garnish. Their sticky buns with pecans and brown sugar are absolutely epic, as are the the bacon cheddar biscuits with maple butter.

MB Post is located at 1142 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, (310) 545-5405


Photo of Slater's meaty bloody mary by Krista Simmons/LAist
Slater's 50/50: If you love bacon, this is the place to be, especially if you want to watch a game. There isn't a bad seat in the house at the Pasadena location, where the walls are plastered with plasma TVs playing all sorts of sporting events. Grab a burger and throw back one of their signature bacon bloody marys, which are made with bacon-infused vodka and garnished with a piece of smoky bacon and a bacon salt rim.La Cita
Every Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m. this Downtown dive offers a $5 bloody bar, where you can get crafty with your cocktail. Top your tall glass of iced vodka with mixers, seasonings, and homemade garnishes to concoct your perfect bloody mixed to taste.

La Cita is located at 336 S. Hill Street, Downtown, (213) 687-7111

Fat Dog
Sit on the porch with your pooch and order up some brekkie, but be sure to add on one of the Fat Dog's bloody marys made with their thick, spicy hand made mix. It's garnished with olives, pepperoncini, and a big, leafy celery stick making it a full meal. While you wait for your food, your doggie will be greeted with a fresh bowl of water. It's not as good as what you'll be getting, but he'll be happy.

The Fat Dog is located at 801 N Fairfax Avenue, West Hollywood, (323) 951-0030

Honorable mentions:

The Belmont
The HudsonFranklin & Company