Three and a half years is a lifetime in the restaurant business – in that time frame chefs come and go, menus rotate seasonally, and managements change hands. But that’s how long it took for the hugely successful, oenophile’s favourite The Must wine bar to re-open following its sudden, startling closure in mid 2010. And though innumerable restaurants and bars have debuted (and some shuttered) in Los Angeles in that time, devoted locals haven’t forgotten their one-time staple watering hole, beloved for its extensive list of pours from off-the-beaten-path regions, and rejoiced this past December with its Downtown relaunch.
Now with chef Drew Coleman (The Edison) at the helm, an elevated food menu features Southern-inflected plates like brisket chili, jalapeno hush puppies and chicken potpie, as well as an aura (and electrolyte) restoring ‘hungover sea monster’ cornmeal muffin stuffed with saucy shrimp etouffee, poached egg and bacon at weekend brunch. But of course, this being The Must, the focus remains firmly on the wines – there’s a 700-bottle strong cellar, plus 100 by the glass picks from as far afield as Slovenia, Mexico and Greece. It’s all best sipped from the covered, tealight-strung patio, or tucked away in a walnut leather booth indoors. Welcome back to the neighbourhood!
117 Winston St / Downtown / +1 213 628 2000 / dinner daily, weekend brunch / themust.com