The Original Barmen

Musso & Frank is living history, in cocktail form

Old is new again in the world of cocktails, but when you want to find the classics before they were considered classics, there's only one place to go: Musso & Frank Grill.

The Hollywood institution is 90 this year, and the menu and employees have barely changed. The dining room, built in 1919, has the smoky ambiance of a bygone era, with its wooden booths, charcoal-fired grill and long counter. But the best place to be is the formidable oak bar in the "new room," which dates to 1957.

You won't find happy hour or food specials here–they don't exist–or newfangled mixology tricks. Just simple, straightforward drinks made by no-nonsense, jacketed barmen like Ruben Rueda.

Rueda (pictured), who's been causing and curing hangovers at the Musso bar for more than 40 years, has a slew of devoted followers, whether it's for his expertly chilled martinis and Manhattans ($8.50) or the creamy Ramos Fizz ($8.50).

One of his favorites, the Bull Shot–sort of a Bloody Mary made with beef consommé instead of tomato juice–will cure what ails you after a long night (click here to download the recipe).

"It looks and tastes ugly," says Rueda. But it kicks you when you need it, just like a good bartender would.

Musso & Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; 323-467-7788