The success of DTLB’s Padre has prompted the Latin eatery to not just up its game—it recently brought on San Diego-based beverage procurer Nathan McCullough to redesign the cocktail menu in its entirety—but open a second location in DTLA.
This marks a wonderfully cool shift in our changing Downtown: businesses established here are heading to our larger neighbor to the north rather than vice versa.
”Long Beach has been good to us, from regular customers to people wanting to host their weddings and events here,” said Padre owner Jay Krymis. “So we’re proud that we can continue that success and provide Padre’s vibe to those in Downtown LA.”
‘Just Juan’ cocktail.
Setting up shop at 5th & Broadway in DTLA, McCullough will lead the beverage program which will be more progressive than the one he just curated for DTLB’s location.
And while DTLB may be leading the way in LA-made IPAs thanks to Beachwood Brewing & BBQ, Roxanne’s was the sole Long Beach joint offering truly challenging drinks that are as experimental as they are difficult to grasp.
You can now add Padre to the list.
“I dig Long Beach but it takes some pushing around here to steer people away from typical cocktails and heavy pours,” McCullough said. “I have to convince them to explore but when I do convince them, they love that I did. The LA location will have more challenging drinks but for now, it is about elevating Long Beach.”
While Padre awaits to impress DTLA foodies and drinkers, McCullough’s latest cocktail creations—ambitious but accessible—are now available to Long Beach drinkers.
Much different than Chef Frank DeLoach’s original beverage program and Padre’s second drink menu by former bartender Kevin, McCullough avoids the usual cocktail menu where things seemingly blend together. Tequila-and-Mezcal focused (though you can find a few bourbon, vodka, and gin concoctions), McCullough wants his drinks to pair with food, to challenge perceptions, and to, most importantly, taste like they’re supposed to.
Just Juan is probably the best representation of philosophy in approaching cocktails: beautiful and created with an array of greens, this bay-infused tequila-based cocktail jumps between savory, herbal, and citrusy. In other words, it pairs wonderfully with everything from their warm squid salad to their chicken wings.
And when it comes to botanical-like creations, McCullough dreams up colorful, complex drinks like La Bigotona [pictured below], a carrot juice-based cocktail coupled with El Charro Blanco Tequila is layered with mezcal for a smokey quality, lemon, cinnamon and ginger.
‘La Bigotona’ carrot cocktail.
This isn’t to say that McCullough avoids spirit-forward cocktails. Quite the opposite. Holy Water [pictured above right], a mezcal-focused cocktail that looks like, well, water, is nothing short on flavor nor will it wash you of your sins (though it may make you forget them). El Silencio Mezcal is mixed with a spirit made of sotol (a plant native to Chihuahua, Mexico), green chili vodka, Salers, and tincture created in-house. The result? A boozy, herbal concoction that you won’t find in Long Beach.
“I just hope people will get it,” McCullough said. “And I think they will because there’s no other program like it in the city.”
Roxanne’s, looks like you’ve met your match.
Padre is located at 525 E Broadway in DTLB.