This week my friend and I decided to head to the Westside and try the popular Culver City establishment Bigfoot Lodge West (10939 Venice Blvd, LA 90034). Living on the Westside, and having visted Bigfoot Lodge on Los Feliz, I was excited to try this new local spot.
The interior of Bigfoot West is woodsy to say the least. Its like visiting the home of an alcoholic Paul Bunyan (but with excellent taste in alcohol). The wood paneled walls, wooden bar, and chopped logs hovering above your head are complimented by quite an impressive collection of animal heads monitoring your every sip (apparently our boozy woodsman is also an accomplished hunter). But don’t let the kitschy (and I mean that in the best way) ambiance fool you: this bar takes their whiskey seriously. The menu boasts an impressive collection of bourbons, ryes, irish, and scotch. Add to that some solid classic cocktails (Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Blood and Sand, Gimlet, etc.) and some new favorites (Toasted Marshmallow anyone?) and you’ve got a very comprehensive collection of choices that will please most drinkers. Plus, a $5 happy hour from 5-9 everyday featuring some interesting choices (a shot of Jameson!) is a a nice bonus.
I tend to not like bars that get too crowded. I enjoy having a conversation with the bartenders, something that is much easier to do when they are not swamped with orders, so on Cocktail Tuesdays my friend and I generally try to arrive around opening. While this generally guarantees us our choice of seats at the bar, on this occasion we experienced the downside of our strategy. From the start, we both didn’t get the impression that our bartender necessarily represented Bigfoot West’s best talent, which was confirmed when my friend received a thoroughly shaken Manhattan. Of course this is somewhat understandable considering we were there on a Tuesday at 5pm. Still it made me shy away from ordering any of the really interesting cocktails (for example, the Thirsty Crow: rye, ginger beer, citrus, bitters). Instead I stayed with whiskey neat, ordering an amazing Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon followed by an underwhelming Jameson 12 year.
Bigfoot West is big on charm and selection. I’m looking forward to returning on a bit of a busier night and giving a few cocktails a try. Cheers.