Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Apotheke - the hottest speakeasy in New York has made it's way to Chinatown Los Angeles - in the middle of nowhere in a forgotten part of Los Angeles there's not much around , It's practically under a bridge near a freeway exit and if I accidentally got out there I'd be eager to hop back on, it seems a bit sketchy honestly, but once you find the location and turn in to the lot you see this cute little free standing white brick building surrounded by warehouses - no signage no nothing, just passing by you'd never imagine what was inside, They've truly captured the essence of a speakeasy.
I parked for free in the small lot in the back and took it all in - the urban feel, the bridge practically over the space and the empty dirt lot (which I really hope they put to good use in the future) , the cool hissing cat mural, the businesses in the same lot also not signed so I actually had no idea what they were, but later found out it was David Chang’s Majordōmo (which I have yet to visit). I walked up the beautiful walkway to Apotheke and was greeted by a doorman and an apothecary ; they were friendly and welcoming very charming - they had people skills which is rare nowadays. I was happy to be there, but still had no idea I was in for so much more. Once I proved to be of age I was allowed through the large wooden door. I walked in and was immediately transported to another world with my eyes and nose, I was hit with a wonderful spa-like aroma from the candles they have lit (I later learned it's a smell uniquely made for them It's like cocoa butter and rosemary and I don't know maybe sandalwood, but it's great! ). Your eyes immediately focus in on the bar, but you can't help take notice of everything else around - the seating, the table set ups with the menus candles and flowers. The space is simple but gorgeous and I hear the space looks just like the New York location, only that this location is larger and has a patio and with another gorgeous bar out there too, with several little private areas to hang at. The outdoor seating comes with a great view of that sketchy LA that now that I think about it - It's not so bad. It's got character and that cat mural on the outside very visible from the patio and it looks like he's trying to peak inside. I couldn't get enough of this view, but it was time to take a look at the cocktail menu or “Prescription List” as described by them.
The "Prescription List" offers categories based on healing properties rather than alcohol selection. They're $16 a pop, and worth every penny. I have paid more $18/$19 each for drinks not even half as good as these. These are made by true mixologist and the juices all natural and dangerously delicious - so balanced. If it weren't for the alcohol in them they would be perfect for a juice cleanse, even the alcohol they use are handpicked purveyors who are involved in doing good things for the community and the drinks are pretty to look at too. Almost to pretty to drink, but so lovely you can't resist.
This is definitely one of those places you want to visit sooner rather than later, when it's so overcrowded you can't get in. And remember those drinks are perfectly balanced so if you don't taste the alcohol, believe me - it's there! Sip 'em slow and enjoy the live music.
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