|Craving Cocktails Rating||
Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA opened in March 2011 and quickly became as notable a destination as the museum itself. The restaurant is named after Ray Stark, the late film producer of such films as Funny Girl and Steel Magnolias and a former LACMA trustee. Ray’s & Stark Bar is known for its award-winning Mediterranean cuisine, its impressive wine list and its inventive cocktail program.
In a short time Ray’s & Stark Bar has garnered such accolades as “Best New Restaurants 2011”, Esquire Magazine and “Best New Restaurants 2011”, Los Angeles Magazine. The wine list in particular is home to many rare or small batch wineries throughout the country and abroad. The humorous names and playful approach to the cocktails is attracting patrons of all ages to this museum dining destination.
Ray’s & Stark Bar was designed by acclaimed architect Renzo Piano. Merging further with its art filled locale, the bar hosts flat screen televisions which are dedicated to displaying video art installations curated by LACMA. The outdoor furniture at Ray’s and Stark Bar was designed by Charles and Ray Eames and indoor pieces by Eero Sarrinen whose work is housed in LACMA’s collection.
The menu available in both the lounge and dining room rotates based on seasonal produce and availability. With three onsite gardens, the culinary and mixology team is consistently utilizing the garden ingredients for inspiration on daily specials and seasonal offerings. Additionally, Stark Bar specifically presents a seasonal cocktail menu alongside classic libations.
Executive Chef Kris Morningstar, formerly of Mercantile, AOC, and Blue Velvet, has teamed with Patina Restaurant Group’s Joachim Splichal to create astounding art from the kitchen. Ray’s offers a true farm-to-table, artisanal dining experience.
After perusing the permanent collection at LACMA for a few hours we hooked up with our delightful host for the evening, Talya Mirkin. Barsmith & Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti made us feel right at home and started us off with a delightful glass of Patina Cuvee, Sparkling Brut from France and an amuse bouche of cucumber soup. Both were outstanding!
Next Paul made us a round of his acclaimed libations including Rose Wishes & Lavender Dreams (Gin, Chateau L’Afrique Cotes de Provence Rose, St. Germain, lavender syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice); Ginger Rogers (Gin, freshly squeezed lime juice, ginger, mint, ginger ale); Owl and Pussycat (Rum, freshly squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, chilis and strawberries); and The Dragon Sour (Pisco, fresh local kiwi, freshly squeezed lime juice, egg white). The drinks were such works of art they deserve their own installation at LACMA!
Moving on to munches, Talya ordered us Octopus (Charred, marble potatoes, sesame-pepper sauce, caperberries, Indian lime, sea beans); Chile (Wood roasted chile, chorizo, dates, local goat cheese, almond sauce); Hanger Steak (Carrot caraway puree, Savoy cabbage, caramelized shallots, smoked marrow, beef jus); and Rice Agnolotti (Stuffed pasta, sottocenere truffle cheese, morel mushrooms, wild arugula, hazelnuts, porcini sauce). Along with the steak Paul paired a Jadis Grenache Carignan which was the perfect compliment to the meat. Every dish was melt in your mouth yum and as priceless as the art next door!
Diets be damned at this point, Talya suggested we try a few of the desserts including Chocolate (Dark chocolate mousse, caramel sauce, milk chocolate whipped cream, praline, chocolate sorbet , hazelnut brittle); Sticky Toffee Pudding (Date cake, tea soaked prunes, goat cheese ice cream, toffee) and Citrus (Meyer lemon budino, tangerines, tangerine puree, bergamot frozen yogurt, limequat chips). All were sublime and exquisitely presented; the perfect finale to our day!
An opportunity to experience LACMA at night is a huge draw for Stark Bar. The al fresco setting is a wonderful oasis amidst the bustle of the Wilshire corridor. The lounge area has quickly become a trendy meeting spot for local business executives, hipsters, art aficionados and tourists alike. I highly recommend you go to LACMA for the art and stay for the food! You will be glad you did.
|Happy Hour Details|
|Name of Restaurant||Ray’s & Stark Bar|
|Address||LACMA 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036|
|Happy Hour Hours||Stark Bar- 11am to 11pm, Closed on Wednesdays|
|Phone Number||(323) 857-6180|
|Price range for drinks||Cocktails from $11 to $16|
|Price range for food||Lunch entrees range from $16-$20; Dinner entrees range from $19-$26|
|Name of chef||Executive Chef Kris Morningstar|
|Name of owner||Patina Restaurant Group|
|Name of manager||Martin Riese|
|Mixologist||Barsmith & Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti|
Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA op…
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