I went on the hunt for the best Bloody Mary in Los Angeles this past week when I was in town. Los Angeles clearly has a brimming food and cocktail scene, so there had to be a good Bloody (or twenty!) tucked away somewhere in the second largest city in the US. I was staying in downtown LA at the beginning of my trip, so my goal was to find somewhere to sip a Bloody in that area. Luckily my hotel was near a lot of restaurants and bars, and was down the street from a little place called Rock & Reilly’s DTLA, which this review is all about! Rock & Reilly’s is an Irish bar, but a bit removed from your classic pub. They offer intimate seating only and a nice patio overlooking the downtown streets, outfitted with a giant TV in case you need to watch your favorite sports game under the sunshine.
Side note, I kind of had my sights set on going to Rock & Reilly’s DTLA because of an Instagram photo I saw of a Bloody Mary that included ridiculous garnishes galore! So, I bring you the review of Rock & Reilly’s Bloody Mary. The photos don’t even do this masterpiece justice. Not only were the garnishes A+++++, but the secret ingredient in their Bloodies is Guinness. That’s right-- dark, Irish Guinness, whose carbonation is created by a mix of CO2 and nitrogen. And the Guinness addition truly made all of the difference.
AT A GLANCE 20/20
I was very impressed when I first saw Rock & Reilly’s Bloody Mary in person. It’s appearance was freakin’ golden and, honestly, it was cute (if you can even call a Bloody cute?!). It consisted of a chicken wing loaded with onions and sauce, some raw onion strings, cheeseburger slider, two olives, jalapeno slice, giant slice of bacon, celery stalk, and half of a giant soft pretzel. The actual liquid portion of the Bloody was nearly brimming over the edge of the glass! Big spices were seen floating throughout the bright red cocktail.
Rock & Reilly’s garnish array was off the chain. But really. It was aesthetically pleasing in terms of garnish item placements and taste. All of the items could generally be classified as bar fare and fit a nice theme for the cocktail. The soft pretzel was cooked to perfection; the beef slider was freakin’ amazing (I would have ordered these off the menu!); the bacon slice was gigantic and lightly coated with a maple glaze; the wing popped with flavor; and everything else was a nice touch! Creativity was on point.
Since Guinness is a main player in Rock & Reilly’s flavorful Bloody Mary, it evens out the spices in their homemade mix perfectly. Chunky black pepper and celery seed were strong and meshed nicely with subtler notes of horseradish. There’s a little kick of heat in the mix too.
TEXTURE & ACIDITY 20/20
The texture of the Bloody is light, but filling… And that can obviously be attributed to the Guinness beer addition! Oddly enough, I think I like the addition of beer in a Bloody more than not. It tones down the acidity, lightens the texture, and adds the “nitrogen bubbles” that you would feel when sipping on a Guinness beer. Rock & Reilly’s Bloody was not acidic.
Looks were not deceiving in the case of this Rock & Reilly’s Bloody Mary! The $18 for the Bloody went a long way in terms of awesome, creative, and plentiful garnishes-- midday snack, anyone? This is a truly tasty Bloody Mary with the unique addition of Guinness, which evens out the spices in the Bloody Mary mix perfectly and tones down the texture. Everything about this Bloody was distinct and I am sure there is no other Bloody Mary like it in LA!
FINAL SCORE 100/100
That’s right, 100% for Rock & Reilly’s amazing Bloody Mary! If you’re in downtown Los Angeles, be sure to stop by and ask for the “Instagram Special” Bloody Mary if you want the whole shabang, garnishes and all. Rock & Reilly’s DTLA is located at:
615 South Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90017