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Varnish Featured in Esquire's Best Bars List

By Eric Richardson with Dave Bullock
Published: Tuesday, May 05, 2009, at 06:37PM
Esquire Best Bars 2009 Dave Bullock [davebullock.com]

Barely open two months, The Varnish gets some national ink this month in the June edition of Esquire magazine. Cole's cocktail-fixated backroom gets included in a new watering hole addenda to the publication's Best Bars list.

Esquire's a fan of the re-emergence of the old-fashioned cocktail in Los Angeles.

The Varnish, in the back of the newly refurbished Cole's, a co-claimant to the create of the French Dip, is the [cocktail] movement's latest safe house. Dark (dark) and atmospheric, quiet--but not too quiet--and manned by a crack team of the city's best bartenders, it's a place to go when you don't want to be seen at all, which puts it in opposition to 99 percent of the city's other night spots. The cocktails are flawless, and all of them are consumed right-side up.

Cole's re-opened in December after a makeover by Cedd Moses' 213 Ventures. The Varnish, from partners Eric Alperin and Sasha Petraske, joined it in late February. The cocktail bar is accessible via a door in the back of Cole's dining room.

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