La Descarga is Los Angeles's first true rum specialist. The name means "the discharge," and La Descarga "oozes the jazz of the cabarets, bars, and clubs in La Habana, both past and present," says streetgourmetla. It's a dance club, too, but "La Descarga is first and foremost a rum bar, and if you aren't diving into the hand selected rums ... then you are missing something unique," explains streetgourmetla.
It's also a speakeasy, with a reservation system and high-class service and style. There's a beauty in a vintage dress to usher you through the secret door into a nicely crowded room. "This is a place to drink but don't forget to buy a round for the welcoming eyes across the bar, celebrate with your set, or strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger," says streetgourmetla. "Dolled up beauties in vintage clothing reach in their purses for a cigarette, a guy in a bow tie knocks back a drink, and the adult amusement park that is La Descarga stirs in the rhythms and spirit of Cuba and rum."
But most of all, there is rum. There are rums for the novice, and rums for the fanatic. Ron Zacapa and Ron Zaya, both from Guatemala, will please everybody with their sweet, pretty charms. There's La Favorite, a Martinique rhum agricole, made with sugarcane instead of molasses, with "wonderful earthern flavors and that delicate sweetness," says streetgourmetla.
Should you care to delve deeper, there's also a cigar bar, with quality hand-rolled Dominican leaf cigars and neat spirits only. This is where you get the more bold rum adventures, like Scarlet Ibis, strong and spicy, and the fruit and orange peel flavors of Barbados's Cockburn 12-year.
Reservations can be made on La Descarga's website.
La Descarga [Koreatown]
1159 Western Avenue, Hollywood