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On May 25, 2016, The Abbey celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Long a mainstay bar in the heart of West Hollywood, The Abbey has received many awards and accolades over the years. They have been awarded:
  • Best Gay Bar in the World – Logo / MTV
  • Most Popular Nightlife Destination in Los Angeles - Zagat
  • Most Popular Bar in California – Foursquare / Buzzfeed
  • Most Popular Bar Drop off in the United States – Lyft
  • Most Popular Nightlife/Bar/Restaurant Destination in Los Angeles - Uber 
  • Best Gay Bar in Los Angeles – LA Weekly, LA Weekly Reader’s Choice, Time Out Los Angeles
  • Best Nightlife in Los Angeles – USA Today
In time for their 25th anniversary, The Abbey completed the biggest menu update in its history. Known for its flavored cocktails, they brought in mixologist Armando Conway (Pour Vous, La Descarga, Harvard and Stone, Hakkasan) to redo the menu. Armando Conway Now there are more than one hundred cocktails on the menu and each one is made with fresh herbs and produce and house-made juices and syrups. The cocktail menu at The Abbey has joined the craft cocktail world. The menu is broken into categories and I did my best to try one from almost each category when I was invited to check out the new menu.
"Cocktails are about something beautiful." As I sat down with Foreign Cinema Bar Manager Nicky Beyries, this was one of the first things she told me. "They evoke memories or by mixing fun ingredients, we make new memories," she continued. "I like to take great ingredients and be irreverent. The point is to let the ingredients speak for themselves" And that is what she does with her cocktails. Nicky Beyries Nicky grew up on farms in Petaluma and Santa Rosa, which explains her appreciation for fresh, seasonal ingredients. With ten years of experience behind the bar, she joined Foreign Cinema in San Francisco last October. The current cocktail list is her first full cocktail menu at Foreign Cinema and I joined her at the bar recently to taste through her current list.
For the last year, I have driven up and down Centinela Blvd to and from LAX but I had never noticed Fin, a restaurant located half a block east of Centinela Blvd on Washington Blvd. Now I have!  A modern space with minimal decor, Fin is located in the space that was formerly Mi Ranchita, a Mexican Restaurant. The menu at Fin is Asian-fusion. Perhaps this is because owners Michael Flanagan, Gerardo Reyes and Ken Whang had all worked together as servers at Koi in the past? Well actually, that is where they met. One night Michael and Gerardo were drinking at Mi Ranchita when they told the owner they wanted to buy the place. The owner wasn't looking to sell the 25 year old restaurant but somehow they convinced him. They set out to remodel the space and hire staff as they created their own concept. But what impressed me so much was that they ended up also keeping the original staff from Mi Ranchita. And why Asian Fusion? Because, as Michael explained, he wanted to offer a restaurant in the neighborhood that would be fun for a date spot or a night with friends.... flavorful, fun food that is easy to share and not too heavy. It's been a year now and Fin is a friendly local neighborhood restaurant. Fin Culver City
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