Scopa Italian Roots & Old Lightning
In Venice Beach, the one-two punch of Scopa Italian Roots and its attached bar, Old Lightning, offer a great energy, hard-to-find vintage liquors, and impeccable Italian food from the kitchen of celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso.
“The combination of those two [spots] really exceeds the sum of its parts,” Harris says. “People are having fun and engaging in conversation; it’s the kind of thing that I’m looking for when I walk in a place. We sat down and had a killer dinner of all sorts of awesome pastas and antipasti and things to share. We ate until we were fat.”
You’ll be hard-pressed to find Old Lightning -- a tiny, 25-or-so-seat secret bar with no sign out front -- if you don’t dine at Scopa first (you’ll also need a reservation). “It sort of feels like a little pilgrimage when you go out there,” Harris says.
But for a cocktail aficionado, it’s well worth the effort; boasting what he calls “the most amazing selection of spirits, which rivals only a couple of other places I’ve been to in the world.” The collection -- including extremely rare liquors, vintage bottlings from defunct brands, and previous formulas that have since changed -- is so big, it doesn’t even fit behind a single bar.