[BETTER KNOW A BARTENDER] Little Bar’s Erin Eleniak On Whisky and “Tinder Tuesdays”
The Larchmont area is home to some of Los Angeles’s best bars and restaurants, but how well do you know the bartenders who help keep the party going?
This month The Ledger sat down with Erin Eleniak, bartender at Little Bar on La Brea Avenue to discuss her career and favorite drinks.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Ventura County, so I’ve been in the Los Angeles area all my life. I moved to the city six years ago. I had a friend who lived down the street from Little Bar and that’s how I got introduced to it.
Is this the first place you’ve bartended?
Yeah, I’ve been here four years.
How did you get into bartending?
It was kind of a fluke. I’ve been interested in bartending for a while and I was mostly doing retail stuff. I ended up talking to the manager; they needed a bartender because they just got their liquor license here and so they were looking to expand the menu. She asked if I wanted to give it a try and I said “Absolutely.”
Had you had any interest in bartending before?
I’ve always loved creating things and playing with flavors and I love to cook and make art. This is an extension of that creativity. I just like the space that it is. You get to meet a lot of people and hear a lot of stories. It’s an interesting revolving atmosphere. This bar is great because it’s a neighborhood spot and there’s no scene here. People feel very comfortable. We get everything from 21st birthdays to people in their 50s and 60s coming in on a regular basis.
What is the funniest, weirdest or most interesting thing you’ve seen in your bartending career?
One of my favorite things is seeing Tinder dates happen. It’s usually weekdays, middle of the weeknights, where you see couples lining the bar and you just get snippets of conversations and they tend to be pretty interesting. A lot of time, one of the people will leave and we’ll get the inside scoop from the one who stayed.
Previously in this column, a bartender talked about how they casually call it “Tinder Thursdays,” what’s Little Bar’s busy Tinder night?
Here it’s Tuesdays. I feel like if it’s a first date, you don’t want to devote your weekend time to that and people are just meeting up after work. Plus it’s quieter and you can actually talk.
What’s one of your favorite drinks and how do you make it?
I really like whiskey drinks, like Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. Right now I’m really loving the Black Manhattan. It’s really well balanced and that’s what I like about whiskey cocktails. You get that round umami flavor.
2 oz. Rye
1 oz. Amaro
2 dashes Orange Bitters
2 dashes Chocolate Bitters
2 dashes Walnut Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
757 S. La Brea Ave.,