After reading about the Walker Inn and hearing rave reviews from coworkers, we finally decided to try it ourselves. It’s in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, accessible through a secret door (labelled “secret door”, of course) in the back of another bar, the Normandie Club. Simply flip the light switch by the door for admission. Anyone can come for drinks if there are seats available, but what the place is known for is its cocktail tasting menu, which costs $70 and requires reservations.
The tasting menu was delightful. Most cocktails came with a small snack, and several of them were lower in alcohol content, so we didn’t feel like we had too much to drink (although we wouldn’t recommend driving afterwards). The cocktails started out light and refreshing, and escalated in intensity:
- A white Negroni, made with gin, Suze (a French gentian root liqueur), and clarified Mandarin juice. This was lighter than other white Negronis we’ve had, and very refreshing.
- The Slate, made with Nigori sake, pear brandy, and green apple juice. Placed on a piece of slate with a side of apple and liquid nitrogen mint leaves. This cocktail was fruity and delicious.
- The Buttered Potato, which was vodka infused with brown butter and served with a mini potato. We weren’t expecting much from a cocktail made from vodka and butter, but it turned out to be one of our favorites.
- A cola cocktail. This one came out in a glass with just rum, phosphate, and plain soda water, plus three droppers of flavorings: citrus, vanilla/caramel, and bitter/tart/spicy. There was a rock candy stick where we could taste the flavorings before deciding how many drops to add to our drinks. It was fun to see how the individual flavors combined to taste like cola.
- And, finally, an Old Fashioned with Giffard apricot brandy and cherrywood smoke. The bartender used a smoking machine to infuse the cocktail in front of us.
After the tasting, we ordered some more snacks and a yummy mocktail to end our evening. There were even more interesting cocktails on the a la carte menu, so we’re looking forward to going back.