People were justifiably excited for Animal veteran Jonathan Whitener’s globally inspired food leading up to the June opening of Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown. What people didn’t know was that he and front of house partner Lien Ta had big things in store for the bar. Veteran bartenders Allan Katz & Danielle Crouch, previously with Caña Rum Bar, now handle HLAY’s cocktail program.
The boozy couple may be fans of “Big,” which features a fortune teller named Zoltar, but they named Psychic Reader ($15) for a business that operated where HLAY’s bar now stands.
A whole shot of Angostura bitters is aggressive, but Katz and Crouch find balance with fresh lime juice, mango nectar, coconut cream, and aquafaba, the cooking liquid from beans that’s starting to sub for egg whites as an emulsifier in more and more cocktails. According to the cocktail menu description, “The instantly restorative powers of an Angostura Fizz can quell any storm and cut through your darkest clouds. All you have to do is believe.” Thankfully, I wasn’t facing any dark clouds upon entering Here’s Looking At You, and certainly didn’t see any after taking repeated sips of this cocktail. Better yet, each Psychic Reader comes with a mango fudge garnish, which provides a sweet tart punctuation mark to the experience.