I would like to raise a glass to the short-lived existence of a bar in Studio City, located just above Barrel and Ashes – The Fiscal Agent. I went here once with a friend of mine on a Wednesday night and I remember being pleased with everything it seemed to offer.
Sure it had a bit of a pretentious vibe with the semi-secret entrance on the side of a restaurant, where they had to take your name down and lead you up the stairs that’s lined with candle lights… But still it was kind of a nice touch of exclusivity that everyone digs nowadays; not to mention they greeted everyone with sparkling wine when they first opened. Even though I didn’t get to enjoy that aspect as I only showed there a couple weeks ago, my friends did and that’s nothing if not a classy touch.
Sure their drink menu was a bit wordy, resembling more of a story behind every cocktail instead of a simple-to-read list of ingredients… But still it was a very well thought-out, labor-intensive cocktail list with nothing but excellent concepts, fresh ingredients and fun word play when it came to naming their concoctions. And let’s not forget about their unique glassware that added a sick touch to their already strong cocktail game.
Sure their food menu was limited and mostly filled with fattening goodness… But still, their infamous Hoe Cake was the best I’ve ever had. It came out on a mini iron skillet, looking like a giant fat pancake. As the crystallized salt particles danced on my tongue with scallions, its scrumptious buttery crumbles disappeared from my plate faster than the cocktail from my glass…
Sure their prices were a little up there… But still, I was more than willing to pay the money in turn for their gigantic ice cubes that didn’t dilute my well-made drinks, food that still has me salivating over, chill atmosphere and a friendly, knowledgeable bartender.
Sadly, according to an article that can be found here, The Fiscal Agent is no more with us.
Sure I only went there once and now after looking at some of the reviews it seems that my experience was much more pleasant than that of others; so perhaps it was the wrong time and place for it to survive… But still, its sudden death came as a bit of a shock to me personally. Hopefully the owners of Barrel and Ashes learn from their mistakes when they think of a new project for upstairs, finding a way to both retain Fiscal Agent’s charm and make it more attainable to the public of Studio City that seeks the same quality stuff as West Hollywood with “better value and less attitude”.