Bar Leather Apron was just named “One of the Best Bars in America” (not official title) by Playboy Magazine. Even though I’m skeptical of ‘Best in the U.S.” titles (did they really go EVERYWHERE in the United States?) it piqued my interest enough to drag my girlfriend with me on a quiet Thursday.
We arrived without reservations because I’m an unorganized ass but luckily there was a private room available. Since I was on a ‘double date’ of sorts with a couple my gf didn’t really know the private room was slightly awkward but that’s not their fault. Also, if you were wondering, the place smells like leather, oak, and mustache wax.
Place has a very laid back, ‘speakeasy’ vibe to it that is so hipstery it made my mustache curl on both ends. Immediately discovered that the “Leather Apron” isn’t a story or play on words, every employee literally has a leather apron on. Cool concept, but I’m not sold on this fashion decision as our waiter Paul (more on him later) resembled one of the huge eastern European dudes from the movie HOSTEL and I can’t begin to imagine the taint and ball sweat that must collect behind that thing. It’s appropriate but at what cost?
So Paul (real name Dmitry) came to take our orders and was very informative and helpful. I got a “I might murder you but not before I make you suffer” vibe but that’s not his fault, it’s me taking hundreds of horror movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Hostel as gospel rather than entertainment. His slightly autistic delivery of certain things was oft putting but he seemed new so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I also hope that if he reads this I don’t end up in a torture chair with planks being forced under my fingernails.
BLA Old Fashioned is about as perfect as you can get when it comes to old fashioned. Well balanced, great whiskey, massive ice cube, no bullshit. The Matcha Old Fashioned was an interesting blend of whiskey and tea flavor but the bartender balances it like a pro. Everything whiskey based was strong and tasty, you can tell there’s a lot of work put into each drink. Even the Tequila old fashioned was pretty good, and I really, really hate tequila.
Also tried a $20 Mai Tai because I was sold on the whiskey and am a gullible, stupid man. It was not worth it. Tasty? Sure, but it’s hard to taste layers and subtleties when there’s like 30 ingredients. Delicious rum mixed with every garnish they had behind the bar.
My advice? Stick to their incredible whiskey drinks. They really are better than anything I’ve ever had when it comes to mixed whiskey. Stay away from the other shit and remember, the waiters will 100% NOT murder you. I know because I survived.