Las Perlas

A revitalized cocktail culture in L.A. has given rise to a sizzling new crop of bars that shape their drink menus around a particular spirit. Rum reemerges at La Descarga (1159 N. Western Ave., Hollywood, 323.466.1324), a clandestine Cuban-style den with some 70 varieties of rum. Downtown nightlife king Cedd Moses’ Caña Rum Bar at the Doheny (714 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown, 213.745.7090) possesses an astounding 140 small-batch rums and offers sophisticated versions of those much maligned tiki drinks, plus mojitos, margaritas, punches and more. (Note: Caña requires a $20 annual membership fee that comes with a “free” margarita and goes to charity.) Moses’ festive new Las Perlas (107 E. 6th St., downtown, 213.988.8355) homes in on tequila and mezcal. Like at his other nightspots—which tend to draw serious cocktailians—the artisanal drinks emphasize house-made syrups and bitters and fresh fruit and vegetable accents.

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