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They say LA is a city of hybrids. Every Uber driver you meet is also an aspiring singer; every finance guy downtown is also launching an app. But for everyone who says they are working on multiple projects, few people actually do it — and even fewer do it successfully.
Alexis Woodall is finding the perfect balance for this Hollywood balancing act. By day, she’s a Golden Globe and Emmy-winning producer, working alongside Ryan Murphy on shows like The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, American Horror Story, and the most recent FX hit, Feud. By night, she’s the creative force in the husband-and-wife team behind Red Herring, a new restaurant in Los Angeles’ burgeoning East Side community of Eagle Rock.
Comfort marinates with luxury at Red Herring, where Woodall is often seen greeting guests out front, while her husband, Dave, mans the kitchen — and the daily menu — in the back. An accomplished chef in his own right, Dave previously helmed the kitchen at Blair’s in Silver Lake and Melisse in Santa Monica, before opening Red Herring.
The restaurant’s vintage-inspired, mid century-glam interior provides the perfect setting for Woodall’s modern take on comfort food classics. It’s also the perfect spot to pop by for a drink. General Manager Patrick Thomas oversees front of house operations, and is responsible for their extensive drink menu.
Since the restaurant’s alcohol license limits them to wine and beer, Thomas had to think outside the box when curating the bar’s “cocktails.” To that end, all of Red Herring’s cocktails are beer or wine-based.
“It’s about finding a recognizable classic and making it special,” Woodall told us, during our recent visit. “And it’s also about getting really creative.”
Here, Thomas and Woodall share recipes for three of Red Herring’s signature drinks — all of them easy to make at home, and all of them arriving just in time for summer.
1. An Exaltation of Grapefruit
Thomas says this is a great drink for the summer, with the refreshing grapefruit beer given just a bit of kick with the jalapenos. It’s a great cocktail to serve for backyard parties too — super simple to make and sure to impress.
What You’ll Need:
1 half wheel of grapefruit, cut in two
3 slices of jalapeno
1 can of Stiegl Grapefruit Radler beer
Thyme sprigs to garnish
1. Muddle the grapefruit and jalapeno in the bottom of a highball glass
2. Fill with ice
3. Top with the Stiegl Radler beer
4. Garnish with a ¼ wheel of grapefruit and a small handful of thyme sprigs
5. Serve with remaining beer in can
2. Pretty in Pink
“It’s like nothing you’ve had before,” Thomas says. The aromatic sweetness of the vermouth is the perfect balance to the tartness and tang of the grapefruit, making this a great drink for before — or after — a meal.
What You’ll Need:
1 oz. rosemary syrup
1.5 oz. Brovo Pretty Vermouth
2 oz. grapefruit juice
Rosemary sprig to garnish
1. Place rosemary syrup, pretty vermouth and grapefruit juice in Collins glass
2. Add ice and stir
3. Top with cava
4. Garnish with a grapefruit peel and sprig of rosemary
3. The Paramour
This drink is a little like an aperol spritz and is a great alternative to a mimosa when you’ve got some Cava in your fridge. “The process they go through to make Cava is just as intricate as champagne,” Thomas says. “Cava is dry and balances out the sweetness of the drink.”
Thomas uses Aperitivo Cappalletti, a wine-based Italian aperitif, in this recipe, but says you can swap it out for Campari or even Grand Marnier if you have that around instead.
What You’ll Need:
2 oz. Aperitivo Cappelletti
2 oz. Mercat Cava
2 oz. Sparkling Water
½ orange wheel
1. Fill wine glass with ice
2. Pour in Aperitivo Cappalletti, cava and sparkling water
3. Stir gently and top up with more ice
4. Garnish with basil sprig and orange wheel
Red Herring is located at 1661 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. Visit them online at redherringla.com for menu and hours.