Oh boy, do I ever love a bloody mary. Better than coffee on a lazy, hot Sunday afternoon is a tall glass, glistening with condensation, rimmed with some seasoning or other, and looking like an entire garden's bounty has been pickled and artfully arranged on the top of my libation.
But I have yet to find a bar or restaurant that specializes in, or even takes extra care and pride in the bloody mary in LA, or even better, Westside LA (as it is a commonly accepted fact that a bloody mary tastes best between the hours of 10am to 1pm consumed within a mile or so from a large body of water).
So, in the interest of science, should we establish a criteria? Here are mine:
1. NO PREPACKAGED MIXES! My home recipe contains a minimum of 10 ingredients, and my bar's should too. Mrs T's might work for on the boat during a fishing vacation, but will not when I'm paying $9 at the bar or restaurant.
2. Garnishes. Lots. Lots of FRESH garnishes.
3. A choice of vodkas, extra points for homemade chile infusions and other creative ideas. While the taste of the vodka is masked somewhat, it still should never come from a squeezable bottle.
4. Easy access to add-ins, if needed. I like horseradish, my SO, not so much. Same goes for th Tabasco.
5. The rim. Celery Salt? Sure. Old Bay? Okay! Hot Salt? Yum. Just don't leave my poor rim bare.
6. The Glass. Tall. A pint glass is ideal.
Since I have yet to find an acceptable version, I'll open this up with the last one I had:
Venice Bistro, on the boardwalk. Good tomato flavor, nice spice. Comes with extra lime, which is nice, but nothing else besides an olive. No horseradish. No rim seasoning. And is served to me in a rocks glass. For 9 bucks. In a rocks glass. A 4 out of 10.