The Bloody Mary, when done right, is a comforting meal in a cocktail. It’s a tall glass of cool, rich, spiced tomato juice with a little hair of the dog to soothe that hangover the morning after a late night. Los Angeles Bloody Mary connoisseurs know they can count on the Bloody Marys at Fig and the Hungry Cat for a satisfying pre-noon cocktail, but if you’re looking for a few more places to try, here are 10 restaurants that make a great Bloody Mary.
Cole’s: The Bloody Mary is well balanced with a heat that creeps slowly from the back of your throat to the tip of your tongue. The drink is just thick and rich enough that you forget you’re consuming any alcohol. The rim is coated with a mixture of rock salt and celery seed, and it’s garnished with pepper Jack cheese, a pickle and a pickled egg plucked from the jar that sits atop the bar. 118 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 622-4090, 213nightlife.com/colesfrenchdip.
Messhall: This Los Feliz restaurant knows why you’re ordering the Bloody Mary. In fact, they’ve renamed the drink Get That Girl a First Aid Kit. The drink is made with the house Bloody Mary mix and a garlic-and-shallot-infused potato vodka that’s smooth and spicy. A celery stick and a slice of slightly gooey pickled okra serve as garnish. 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 660-6377, messhallkitchen.com.
Franklin & Company: Here, the Bloody Mary reigns supreme. Every weekend there’s a full selection of Bloody Mary drinks with a Sriracha variety, a Mezcal Mary, a Bloody LeRoy with a splash of BBQ sauce and the king of them all, the Bloody Royale. It includes the classic mix (tomato juice, celery bitters, fresh lemon and spices) with a bacon salt rim. Garnishing the drink is a skewer with a bacon-wrapped jalapeno, two slices of pepper Jack cheese, a pickle spear, half of a roasted Brussels sprout, celery, an onion ring and a slider with grilled onions. If you’re with friends, you can order a 60-ounce pitcher. 5923 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 463-1552, franklinandcotavern.com.
Luna Park: It’s a classic Bloody Mary made with tomato juice, a splash of Worcestershire, a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper and celery salt. If you come during brunch or happy hour, the Bloody Marys are two-for-one. And like all the restaurant’s specialty drinks, you get a small plastic figure of a mermaid or zoo animal hanging off the side of your glass. 672 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 934-2110, lunaparkla.com.
Joe’s Restaurant: This Venice eatery lets brunchers opt for the classic Bloody Mary, made with a little horseradish, lemon, spices and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and vodka, or something called the Slowpoke Rodriguez made with El Silencio Mezcal, Smoked Bloody mix and pickled veggies. The latter is garnished with a skewered shrimp. 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-5811, joesrestaurant.com.
Four Seasons Beverly Hills: The Bloody Mary at the hotel’s Sunday brunch Bloody Mary bar has to be one of the best in town because you build it yourself. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. Order a shot of vodka of your choice, then make your way over to the Bloody Mary bar. There’s V-8 juice, plain tomato juice and Mr. E’s Bloody Mary Mix (a classic recipe created by hotel manager Mehdi Eftekari). Then choose from a selection of spices, pickled vegetables, olives and celery to garnish your drink. 300 S. Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, (310) 273-2222, www.fourseasons.com/losangeles.
1886 at the Raymond: If you’re a horseradish fan, this is the Bloody Mary for you. The bartender starts with a horseradish-infused vodka and adds Dirty Sue olive juice, salt and a mix of spices. A couple spritzes of lemon juice thin out the drink and give it a refreshing bite of citrus. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626) 441-3136, www.theraymond.com.
Jax Bar & Grill: If Don Draper on “Mad Men” had a Glendale hangout, this would be it. You’ll feel at ease sitting at the wooden bar, watching a game on the TV with a Bloody Mary on hand during your lunch break. The bartender takes the house-made mix and puts it in a shaker with a vodka of your choosing. She pours the blend into a tall glass with plenty of ice. It’s garnished with a foot-long piece of celery, two green olives and a wedge of lemon. If you reach your straw in to the bottom of the glass, you can suck up salty bits of Lawry’s seasoning salt and horseradish. 339 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 500-1604, www.jaxbarandgrill.com.
Comme Ça: They’re gussying up the cocktail with two variations. The maple bacon comes with smokey bacon-infused vodka, thick maple syrup and cool cucumber, and the Rooster packs a punch of heat with vodka, a couple squirts of Sriracha, muddled citrus and togarashi Japanese chile seasoning. They’re Bloody Marys worthy of sipping while slurping back a couple dozen freshly shucked oysters from the raw bar. 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 782-1104, www.commecarestaurant.com.
The Redwood: It’s a classic Bloody Mary made with a house mix and well vodka. If you find yourself roaming the streets of downtown on a Sunday morning, it’s a godsend at only $5 a pop. The mix is on the thinner side, with a bold horseradish flavor that will burn your nose if you drink it too quickly. There’s nothing on the rim, and it’s garnished simply with a wedge of lime and a single green olive. 316 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, (213) 680-2600, www.theredwoodbar.com.