When you have some of the finest bars in the world, and people from all around the world flock to your city to enjoy some downtime at the most exotic and exciting of bars, there are many great reasons behind them. When it comes to Los Angeles, one of the world’s most prominent cities when it comes to bars and nightlife, the city’s charm and excitement comes to mind as to popular reasons for visit. The bars' locales and the diverse culture that shapes the city’s bar scene is another. But possibly the biggest reason behind Los Angeles becoming the phenomenon that it has become in the drinks industry over the past few years is that it is home to some of the most supremely talented bartenders.
Plying their trade in the different bars all across the city of LA, these bartenders have the best of personalities and know their way around a bar to bring to you concoctions that become your perennial favorites every time you visit a bar. They know what you need (in cases you tell them to surprise you), depending on your moods and their ability to bring to you the exact taste you desire from your drink or your cocktail is second to none. It is time to celebrate some of these faces who have taken the bar scene in Los Angeles a notch higher and made it magnificent.
Jason Bran: Originally from Seattle, Jason Bran moved to Los Angeles in order to further his aspirations of becoming a world-class bartender. He moved a few bars before he settled at The Roger Room, where he found his calling and along with Damian Windsor has managed to craft a drinks menu for sore eyes. Since his time at The Roger Room, he has found Hollywood Cocktail Co. where he is now engulfed in bringing to his audience concoctions with a touch of Jason. He likes to make changes to classics to elevate them and modernize them a bit and is one of the most recognized faces on the Los Angeles bartending circuit.
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Melina Meza: Melina Meza’s route to success in the bartending scene of Los Angeles is a little different from the rest. A native of LA, her first experience as a bartender was actually outside of LA, when she moved to the midwest to tend the bar at one of the bars her friends opened. She returned to LA after a while and started bartending at Broken Shakers after falling in love with the concept of craft cocktails and making them sophisticated. Currently working at Olivetta, Melina Meza has also founded Last Call Consulting which specializes in creating and curating bar menus, cocktail menus and hosting private gigs and events. Melina is also the beverage director at The Draycott, a California-inspired Brassiere, where she heads a team that produces some of the most pleasant looking cocktails.
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Amanda Colom: The global cocktail creative at Alliance Brands Limited, based at The House of Machines, Amanda Colom hails from a Cuban family that brought her the realization of how important food is to one's life. As the bar director at Alliance Brands Limited, she is responsible for holding the fort when it comes to deciding the menu for the four bars that come under her, those being The House of Machines, Tokyo Crows, The House of Powder and Outrage of Modesty. As fancy as the names of the bar sound, the menu at all four of these bars is even fancier because of Amanda Colom and her eye for brilliance and need for perfection. Just like her work, her Instagram is full of vibrant drinks and the essence they bring to a person’s life.
Zahra Bates: The head bartender at Providence, Los Angeles only two Michelin star restaurant, the story of Zahra Bates is one of great success and perseverance. Her journey in the world of drinks began way back in the early nineties when she took off to London and tended the bar at the Sanderson Hotel. Having worked there until 2006, she decided to return home to LA and has not looked back ever since. One of the biggest stars of the Los Angeles bar scene, Zahra Bates believes in bringing versatility and a touch of California to her cocktails. Her success story is one which will be recalled for years and it will be a tale that will be in sync with the success of LA’s bar scene.
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Justin Campbell: A seasoned beverage specialist with more than a decade of experience behind him, Justin Campbell leads the charge at the H.wood hospitality group’s bar management scene. He was drawn towards hospitality at a young age and worked his hand at bartending and has since worked his way up. Originally from Michigan, Justin Campbell carries with him one of the most infectious smiles you will ever come across and you can see him flaunt it whenever he is behind the bar coming up with a concoction. He believes in creating menus that resonate with the patrons and the audiences and is driven to finding balance in all of his menus. Justin Campbell is a part of a list of bartenders that make the LA bar scene worth your time and money.
Image Source: Chilledmagazine
One of the most vivid, vibrant and constantly evolving cities in the world, Los Angeles is home to some of the best bars and restaurants (single and chain) and the cocktails and drinks on their menu are some of the best you will ever come across. While the interiors and the feel of the place obviously adds to the charm, the heart and soul of the bars are the bartenders and the head bar directors who help curate a menu that serves you all through the year and retains freshness while doing so. These bartenders deserve all our love, respect and recognition for the effort they put in.