Photo Credit: Michael’s
If you’re in the mood for a little libation art, head to the newly revamped Michael’s in Santa Monica to imbibe a cocktail based on art.
Bar Manager Meredith Hayman has created “The Crossover,” a single malt-based cocktail inspired by David Hockney’s Bora Bora (Tokyo 213), 1979. Hockney, as you might already know, is an English painter considered “one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.” He was an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s.
Says Hayman of her art-inspired recipe: “I got this beautiful French Single Malt, Brenne—a whiskey that’s unlike anything I have ever had. It’s finished in cognac casks, so it almost drinks like a rum. I treated it as such. I have always loved that painting, so calm and secluded. I started using flavors like orgeat and Salers Genetian liquor (which is also French) and I was transported to the islands. Blackberry and lemon find their way in as well.The cocktail is finished with a Pernod spritz to tie everything together and create a balanced finish. Sometimes when I drink it I feel like I can “crossover” into that painting. Perfect for spring and summer, and to crossover to your own beach.”
Well said, given that the long-standing Michael’s, which recently went through a massive and well-received revamp, is located by the beach in Santa Monica. The restaurant’s re-opening in September 2016 marks a significant milestone in both the evolution of proprietor Michael McCarty’s eponymous restaurant, as well as chef Miles Thompson’s trajectory as a formidable culinary talent. In addition to inspired cocktails, the eatery serves up California cuisine such as housemade buckwheat sourdough bread with sunflower butter; ricotta gnudi with lamb sausage, spigarello, preserved orange; potatoes a la plancha with parmigiano-reggiano, bonito flakes, furikake aioli; and swordfin squid with burnt eggplant puree, smoked sesame and maitake mushrooms. Larger dishes such as duck breast with huckleberry-juniper pickle, chrysanthemum and delicata squash; and grilled branzino with black lentil curry, dandelion and limequat.
The menu wouldn’t be complete without Hayman’s boozy libations, of course. The beverage director, formerly of Bestia and Faith and Flower, draws similar inspiration from the local farmer’s market, which is located just down the street from the restaurant. In addition to “The Crossover”, signatures include: El Paseo with Milagro Blanco, mezcal, Crème de Pamplemousse rose, fresh lemon, agave, bay leaf, watermelon granita; and the Road to Kyushu with Kikori Japanese whiskey, Galliano, Averna, barrel-aged bitters, kumquat, clove. A concise, accessible wine list features both Old World and New World bottles with an emphasis on California producers, with a cellar collection spotlighting California Cult wines available upon request.