Belcampo Meat Co., the Mount Shasta based company fronted by Anya Fernald, has displayed a strong commitment to sustainable meat, complete with farming, processing, and showcasing products at a series of butcher shops, counters and restaurants throughout California. Santa Monica may be their most ambitious outpost yet, with a butcher shop up front, a restaurant in back, and a full bar which longtime cocktail pro Josh Goldman helms.
The “unlicensed barmacist” and his seasoned crew prescribe Highballs, Shaken and Stirred drinks from behind an enticing bar. According to the menu, “The cocktails change with the seasons just as our menus do and highlight what’s peak on our farm.” That approach might result in a drink that centers on the humble beet, as in Beets By J ($12). The name is a play on Beats By Dre, the blockbuster headphones from Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and now Apple.
This vivid purple cocktail pairs Pueblo Viejo añejo tequila with beets and citrus spiked agave. Beets By J arrives on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass with a decorative beet chip. According to Goldman, “My inspiration was making beets sexy. I love the way they look sliced, like wood grain, and I wanted to showcase that and the incredibly sweet and earthy flavor of the beets. Añejo tequila and sweet/earthly flavors are awesome together.” No argument.