Alma's Creamy, Berry Cocktail an Unmuddled Hit

After reading last week's review of Alma, we decided to meander over and give it a whirl. Munching on generous portions of L.A.-inspired Mexican food at a trendy new Henderson Avenue restaurant seemed like an appropriate way to kick off the weekend. And much to our delight, Elaine Liner's article was accurate, as the portions were large, the décor was pleasant, and aside from a snooty hostess, everyone was warm and friendly. Our server was attentive and informative, the chip and salsa man introduced himself by name, heck, we even struck up a conversation with the middle-aged couple sitting next to us who came to Alma solely for the dessert -- and we decided to skip the iced tea all together and dive straight into adult beverages.

It came as a surprise to find that Alma, which has only been open since February, already has an off-the-menu item. The Tequila Smash was once on the menu, then removed and then somewhat put back via the enormous chalkboard located next to the upstairs bar. The drink is a blend of tequila, creme de cassis and lime juice served with two blackberries on top. We had to order it. Our server told us that they had experimented with different methods, even trying it with muddled blackberries, but that the creamy blackcurrant liqueur made a perfect fit. We agreed. Alma was serving two other off-the-menu items that night as well, one was a salad topped with octopus (pass) and the other was a mole lamb dish served alongside a basked of handmade flour tortillas. So, we ordered the lamb along with Queso Fundido, Tacos de Carne Asada, and a few more rounds of the Tequila Smash. Rest assured, there were leftovers.

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