New spot alert. The end of 2017 was a good one; I tried a new spot and ate all of my fave foods before year end. Basically I have been a very happy girl ever since.
I’m so excited to share my thoughts about a spot that I was introduced to during that same weekend. A friend was in town visiting for his birthday and that meant every day was something. I literally got off of work, went home changed and we went straight to brunch. We were supposed to go to Association (also never been there) but the wait was too long and in LA you can find somewhere else to go in less than five minutes; a.k.a how we ended up at A.O.C. LA.
A.O.C. is a wine bar on 3rd street in the Beverly/La Brea/3rd St. area. The area that screams I’m from LA, I’m pretty fancy and I want to eat at the best places; my kind of area obviously. The outside is just a small taste of what the inside looks like and it was beautiful. It has a warm and inviting environment that took my breath away a little bit when I walked in. The inside is furnished with beautiful dark wooden tables and chairs, booth seating and high top table seating. We sat right next to the courtyard which was stunning. The courtyard is just on the other side of these gorgeous archways. It is completely engulfed in vines and greenery and truly a sight to see even from the inside.
Our party was a group of 6 and most most of the parties that were there were also larger so they are definitely accommodating in that aspect. It is wise that you make reservations we ever so slightly got a side eye because we got there before our other friend who made the reservation so we weren’t entirely sure that we had reservations (we did). From the moment we sat down our server was incredible. I don’t even think we waited very long to be addressed which is always nice. We were all pretty hungry and since most of us were there for the first time we decided to start with a drinks and then a few small bites before we each ordered our own meal.
A.O.C. for me was all about exploring my flavor palette. I didn’t even realize that was the experience I was going to have until it all happened. We started with drinks which were SO good and so perfectly made. Myself and a friend had the Sancho Panza which is vodka with gingerbeer, lemon, and sherry. First of all I don’t drink gingerbeer; the first time I had it was in Africa and I was not interested at all. This drink definitely changed my mind. I probably won’t go buy a 6 pack or anything but it was definitely perfect with gingerbeer. Two others ordered the Two Rivers which is tequila with dried fruit, orange, aquavit and red wine bitters. My fiance got the Kingbird which was bourbon with chicory and maple. That was stronger compared to our drinks that were cut with citrus but it was cool because it was served with a round ice ball instead of the usual cubes; I’m all about the experience and details. Our other friend had a non-alcoholic beverage which looked alcoholic because it was so pretty and that was the Green Goodess but there was another name in the title to indicate it was non-alcoholic. None the less it looked amazing.
After drinks we had 2 orders of the bacon wrapped dates which were DELICIOUS! I have never tried dates until that day and I’m sortive anti-bacon but it was all so perfect. The bacon really added extra flavor. We also ordered a side of fries because you know, I’m at the table and couldn’t give up potatoes if I wanted to. From there we ordered our main dishes, I’m only going to share mine because I don’t recall what everyone had but it all looks amazing in the picture. I ordered the Falafel Burger which came with cucumber, carrot, zhoug vinaigrette and tahini; it comes with a choice of fries or salad but since I already had my fry fix it was time for my greens. The vinaigrette was A-MA-ZING. The flavors of everything including my burger were so pungent (in a good way) and very unsuspecting. I mean to say I was pleased with everything would be an understatement.
I can’t say that I knew what to expect but it was way better than I could have even imagined. I definitely recommend this spot and I would absolutely return. If you are going with a larger party be prepared to spend, especially if you’re going to have a drink or two.
Location:Beverly/La Brea/3rd St. area
Ambiance: 5 out of 5
Parking: 5 out of 5 (we parked in the neighborhood and walked; a block or two because free parking)
Food: 5 out of 5
Drinks: 5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5