Though it may seem impractical to place yourself closer to the sun during this heatwave, we think it's just the ticket—at least it is in the case of Broken Shaker. Today at noon, Downtown's newest rooftop bar opens with colorful cocktails and an even more eye-catching atmosphere, where potted plants, rich wood paneling, fruit-patterned vinyl tablecloths and playful murals surround both the bar and the Freehand Hotel's rooftop pool.
Cool off with quirky, eclectic cocktails that draw inspiration from L.A.'s flavors and neighborhoods, all while utilizing ingredients from Freehand's restaurant, the Exchange, found on the ground floor. It's a concept and bar caliber not unfamiliar to fans of the Freehand, who may recognize Broken Shaker from the hotel chain's Miami and Chicago outposts, though L.A.'s menu is totally unique to this city. Starting today, find street-food-slanted fare such as potato-and-shrimp tacos, perfectly charred yakitori, vegetable egg rolls and guacamole with peanut salsa in addition to a burger (whose bun, by the by, is made specially for them by a neighboring Chinese bakery).
When it comes to cocktails, we're all in good hands: Broken Shaker's been nominated for a James Beard Award not once but twice, and the bar's founders, Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta of BarLab, are renowned as two of the most influential beverage consultants in the game. Here in L.A., they've crafted a menu that's fun, eccentric and flavorful, thanks to some help from Christine Wiseman, formerly of Break Room 86.
Together, they've brought us some truly creative concoctions, from the O-Fish-Ally Open—which combines gin with white vermouth, California-citrus cordial, organic miso and absinthe, topped with a pile of glittery nori—to the Trash Tini, a take on a martini but one built with both vodka and gin, plus Luxardo's Bitter Bianco liqueur, celery shrub and charred onions from the kitchen of the Exchange. The vibe of this rooftop bar is fun and laid-back, and the drinks follow suit: find quirky garnishes planted in your cocktail, like the pipe-cleaner flamingo in the Recusal Cup (Pimm's shrub, Lillet Rouge, Grey Goose, citrus, ginger ale) or the hand throwing up the shaka sign atop your Massive Carnage (Johnnie Walker Black, Tempus Fugit Kina, coffee tincture, egg white, lemon, Forbidden Bitters).
While the pool is open to guests of the hotel only—staycation, anyone?—Broken Shaker itself is open to all, and with day- and night-long bar hours, it's bound to be Downtown's new favorite hang. Stop by Monday to Thursday and on Sundays from noon to 1:30am, and on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 2am. (For hotel guests, find a poolside food menu from noon to 1:30am, daily.)
Check out a few more of our photos to see just how inviting the space is, then stop by this weekend to see it in person:
Broken Shaker is located on the rooftop of the Freehand Hotel, which sits at 416 West 8th Street.
Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.Share the story