La Otra – Where Agave meets Sugar Cane
Travels are always anchored with culinary delights in my synapses. I still remember the numerous drinks and bar food I had a few month ago in Tel Aviv. I was deeply impressed by the high-end professionalism and warm hospitality. My previous adventure was about the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar and now I will tell you about Imperial’s dark little sister La Otra whose style is Mexican paired with a little Caribbean and located next door in the same building, the Imperial Hotel.
What awaits you at La Otra is a fusion of Mexico and the Caribbean, a place where agave meets sugar cane.
The place has something mystical, adventurous. Stone walls convey the feeling of being in a protected cave. A heavy stone slab highlights the bar which hosts around twelve people on very comfortable woven-back bar chairs. There is a spacious dining area where you can enjoy the fantastic Caribbean influenced Mexican food, which is simply fabulous, go for the tacos and a giant bowl of Nachos Supreme with guacamole! The decoration is impressive with a lot of attention to detail, decent lightning and flickering candles. I was carried away by the atmosphere as soon as I entered the venue. They have created a perfect hideaway from the daily routine. Attention to detail is key to creating the right ambience.
Mezcal, in particular, wasn’t easy to get in Tel Aviv a few years ago but now the shelves are nicely stocked. I am a big fan of Rum but I also love the wide range of flavours Mezcal offers. Some are really smooth, some stronger, there is earthiness, smoke, and you can taste the sweat of the painstaking work.
The menu is simple to understand and to make it more accessible to guests, the cocktail list is divided into flavour categories such as sour, tiki, boozy and wild. “Take a hit, ease back and relax”, my first drink of choice was Mezcal driven. Snoop’s Summer Kool-Aid combines Del Maguey Vida mezcal, house pisco mix, smoky watermelon syrup, pineapple and lime juice. I had to say: “Wow”! What a well executed libation. Like at Imperial, the ingredients are homemade, extremely fresh and seasonal.
The cocktail menu features Agave and Rum and La Otra boasts Israel’s largest selection of both.
For my next drink I opted for El Caminante, after strengthening myself with tidbits, I was ready for the boozy category. This drink recipe comes from the famous Limantour Bar in Mexico which has received awards for being one of Latin America’s Best Bar. A beautifully crafted drink which leans towards bitterness. Del Maguey Vida mezcal brings together the Martini bitterness with the herbal taste of Cynar, rounded off with Mozart dark chocolate liqueur and a dash of orange bitters. Bitter sweet and crisp.
Hosting a guest means understanding your guest. I left the Mexican category and changed from agave to rum. The lovely bartender made me a Caribbean riff on a Martinez. His concoction of Appleton 12, Saint James Rhum Agricole, Maraschino, Vermouth and Boker’s Bitters was a direct hit, my kind of drink. I spent a wonderful night at this bar, I was absorbed by the vibe, delighted by the eats and drinks and the staff took care of me. The crew of the Imperial Group runs two brilliant bar concepts next to each other. One place, two bars, same hospitality. I raise my glass to the excellent bar scene in Tel Aviv: Le Chaim.
Visit La Otra