via HK Tatler Dining |
A bustling locale is a novelty most Hollywood Road bars sit and ride on but watering hole rookie The Woods is coasting a mile and a half ahead of the pack with more than just a golden address. The new concept bar makes drinking a tasteful art, taking patrons on a sensorial adventure that begins as soon as they descend down a narrow staircase and slip through a sliding glass door into a rustic and cosy lounge area with two small bars (think next-level man cave with some serious class).
Coachella-esque indie tunes lightly fill the room with an unpretentious laid-back vibe that’s consistent with the mellow, far-from-sleazy lighting rarely found where alcohol is served. The aesthetically pleasing main bar, separated from the lounge area by intricately-patterned sliding panels, seems to be tended by someone with a case of OCD; contemporary glassware and bottles neatly line the bar top and wall shelves, casting crisp silhouettes over the illuminated surfaces.
Early on a Friday night, the low-ceilinged lounge area is comfortably occupied by a mixed bag of young adventurous imbibers ranging from the artsy thick-rimmed glasses type to overseas college students home for the summer, to locals kicking it back with their office pals. Friendly bartenders and wait staff throw jokes at regulars and make rounds to ensure that even those who wander into The Woods are not lost.
The cocktail menu features an explosion of far out concoctions, many of which elicit the question of, “How does that even work?” Bartenders pay homage to Mother Nature, crafting drinks with precision and creativity by using the season’s freshest offerings. The Caprese, essentially a boozy salad, fills a black lava salt-rimmed glass with sliced cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, black pepper, fresh tomato water, Tito’s vodka, and a couple of dashes of balsamic vinegar. While the Caprese is a seasonal summer drink, the bartender mentions that it’s looking to become an off-menu favourite that can be requested in the future.
To contrast the savoury and light Caprese, we tried the sweet Peach Old Fashioned, one of the bar’s classic libations. Marrying Michter’s bourbon, with white peach, peach bitters, thyme, and a sugar cube, the powerful drink is definitely more of a sipper and less of a downer, ideal for when you’re hitting the deeper end of the night – but be warned, because you just might end up losing yourself deep in the woods.