Like Diamond Reef, another favorite bars of ours this year, Bar Clacson is owned by bartending royalty. Eric Alperin and Richard Boccato (like Diamond Reef’s owner Sam Ross) were all disciples of the late Sasha Petraske. Boccato and Alperin, like Ross, have paved the way for the new movement in cocktail bars: drinking well and actually having fun while doing it.
While Bar Clacson feels like an American dive bar, it has a bold European accent and offers high-end craft cocktails instead of cheap beer and shots. The bar’s unique vibe is a paean to its owners’ heritage, their travels and experiences growing up between Europe and New York (Alperin has French roots while Boccato is Italian). Behind the bar you can find a diverse array of amaro and the cocktail menu leans heavy on European spirits—especially bitter-forward aperitifs, digestifs and eau de vies—and cocktails with simplicity, and elegance. Favorites include the Mezcaletti, a bitter homage to the Old Fashioned, which mixes mezcal with Meletti amaro, and the Separatist, a long drink over crushed ice that has blood orange, bourbon and orange-y amaro Cio Ciaro. If cocktails aren’t your thing, skip a beer and go straight for the Lambrusco on tap.
Between the dangerously easy to drink cocktails, low-key vibe, epically good soundtrack and indoor pétanque court (France’s answer to Bocce ball), Bar Clacson is the kind of place where you can have fun with friends, or lackadaisically lounge away the day by your lonesome—and often.
351 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013