Anya Fernald and Todd Robinson whet Angeleno appetites with the 2014 opening of Belcampo Meat Co. at downtown’s Grand Central Market. They’ve since opened two more L.A. branches, including a Santa Monica outpost with a butcher shop up front and dining room in back with skylights, artistic cow hides, and rust-colored banquettes. Only Santa Monica has a full liquor license, and they’ve made the most of that fact with noted bartender Josh Goldman. He started with creative dinnertime drinks, and now has a tantalizing brunch menu.
Goldman’s House Bloody Mary ($14) was a great match for my Eggs Benedict, and I can see and taste why the drink has been getting national attention. The ultra-savory concoction features The 86 Co.‘s Aylesbury Duck Vodka, which Goldman fat washes with bacon and porcini powder. Clarified tomato juice and a black pepper tincture join the vodka and ice in a tall Collins glass. A green, rectangular celery ice cube helps ensure the beverage benefits from more flavor, rather than inevitable dilution. Resting on the rim of the glass, you’ll find meaty house-cured Belcampo bacon, which Goldman bakes with cracked black pepper and Demerara sugar and lines with an assortment of edible micro flowers.
Belcampo also offers a vegetarian version of the Bloody Mary minus meat, but with horseradish oil and herbal infused vodka, which Goldman calls the Snapping Turtle. Still, I found that Belcampo’s House Bloody Mary has just the right bite for me.