Another New Year's Eve has passed. Some people stay at home, some go out to dinner, others head to parties to toast the new year at midnight. What my friends and I do is what we have been doing since December 31, 2013. For seven years, we head to Big Bar in Los Feliz to celebrate. December 31, 2019 was no exception and that is why New Years at Big Bar is the Please The Palate Pick of the Week.
In general, I find New Years Eve to be rather anti-climatic. For some, it is like any other night but for others, there is so much planning and plotting to make the evening different from others because you want to be in the right place at the right time when the clock strikes midnight and the new year starts. But, after all that preparation, it is over in a moment.
This is why I love spending New Years Eve at Big Bar. After lunch with friends, we head to Big Bar. Big Bar starts celebrating at 3:00pm and over the next 10 hours, they celebrate for each time zone. That is 10 time zones in 10 hours and each time zone comes with a special cocktail created in honor of the country celebrating.
This year's theme had us traveling across time zones and across zones with a Back to the Future theme. The drinks were created by Cari Ha and her team at Big Bar and the menu was designed by Dave Stolte. And of course, the charming Eugene Lee was on hand to take photos.
When the clock strikes midnight, does the world change? No, not really. Truthfully, it's like any other night at midnight.....it's late. But, on New Year's Eve, we wait all night to shout out "Happy New Year" and then it's all over. So, why not celebrate it over and over again, hour after hour? After all, over a 24 hour period, there is someone celebrating almost every hour somewhere in the world. This is the way to do it!
For the last four years, Big Bar in Los Feliz has taken us on a journey around the world as we celebrate New Year's Eve in another city starting at 3pm until midnight. The bar crew at Big Bar become our flight crew as we start in Paris and end in Los Angeles.
The idea was born four years ago. Bartender Eugene Lee had worked as a DJ at the UCSD campus radio station when he was in college. He came up with the idea to start Mixtape Mixology (which is now on week #196). From Mixtape, the idea for the playlist for each timezone was born. "At 4pm it was Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland ... 6pm Brazil, 9pm New York, Boston and Jamaica.... I spent like 9 hours making the first playlist to go with the countdown," Eugene told me. "I remember making them perfectly sync into a pre-recorded countdown that I recorded with a bunch of friends in the language spoken."