Reimagining old Havana at La Descarga

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Though the tiki cocktail was invented in Los Angeles, when it comes down to it, Angelenos don’t consume a whole lot of its signature spirit: rum. Outside of select tiki bars such as Trader Vic’s and Tiki-Ti, our interest in rum drinks doesn’t go much further than the mojito. L.A. likes vodka and whiskey, says Craig Trager, who owns five bars including the Well and NoBar. If it weren’t for his $3 margarita special at El Bar, which has a Mexican theme, he says he’d even have a hard time pushing tequila. “I order more vodka and Jack Daniels than anything.”

Mark and Jonnie Houston, 31-year-old twins who grew up locally, intend to change that -- along with a slew of other tried-and-true night life conventions. With their East Hollywood bar La Descarga, which opened Tuesday night with a festive bash, they not only specialize in vintage rum cocktails, but they also have a rum education program that takes place on an enclosed patio, also known as their cigar room. “We don’t want to play it safe,” says Mark. One of their most sinful drinks, which mixologist Pablo Moix made in the video above, is the Bad Spaniard; it’s made with sweetened condensed milk and an egg yolk.


What’s next for the Twins, who’re making over Hollywood’s seediest bars and turning them into night life destinations? Read the rest of the story here.

--Alexandra Le Tellier