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Published October 03, 2011

Mezcal of the Wild
A Legit Mezcaleria in Koreatown

This is no time for questions. But you need to cross the border. Quickly.

No, not to Mexico. To Koreatown.

That’s because there’s a new mezcal bar in town, and you’ll find it in a legendary Oaxacan restaurant on Olympic. Welcome to The Mezcaleria, a concrete shrine to tequila’s smokier cousin, soft-opening today inside Guelaguetza.

You already know Guelaguetza as the place where you go when you crave some real-deal mole and maybe some cheese-coated grasshoppers. But now if you come after 5pm and move through the dining room and past the band onstage (tip: bring somebody you want to get to know a little better), you’ll see a concrete bar that looks like it’s been there forever. It hasn’t. It’s brand-new. Grab some stools.

There are about 50 mezcals to try here, from sweeter to smokier to... stone-cold crazy. (Inside the bottle of Scorpion: an actual scorpion.) If you’re drinking one that’s under 42% alcohol, it’ll come sloshed in a little tea light candleholder cup. If it’s stronger than 42%, you’ll sip it from a hollowed gourd. Just like they do it down south.

And you’ll want to get to know the woman behind the bar—Bricia Lopez is her name. She’s got a secret stash of bottles she’s not selling... but she is pouring out tastes for friends.

And you’ll soon be a friend.
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