Garden of Drinking

Where mushrooms and saffron meet the cocktail glass

Using farmers' market ingredients in cocktails isn't novel anymore–you'll see it done from Santa Monica (Copa d'Oro) to Downtown (The Varnish). But not all bartenders use only fresh fruit: Some, like Library Bar's Matt Biancaniello, go straight for the vegetables.

Situated just off the lobby of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, this tiny lounge–with its faux zebra stools and sexy leather couches–is the last place you'd expect to find some of the most unusual cocktails in town.

Biancaniello's taste veers savory, so don't be surprised to find balsamic vinegar, saffron-infused gin, and vodka spiked with chipotle peppers on the back bar. All are used in simple concoctions, usually balanced with agave syrup, berries, citrus or herbs.

Made with shiitake-infused bourbon and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, the earthy flavors of the Umami Manhattan ($15) just beg to join a thick, juicy grilled steak. Full of garlic and market olives, Biancaniello's Dirty Sicilian ($15) couldn't be dirtier.

He even smashes arugula for one of the prettiest and most refreshing drinks, The Roquette (pictured, $15). It's a cross between a mojito and lunch (click here to download the recipe); you can practically get two of your five daily servings in one round.

Library Bar, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; 323-466-7000 or hollywoodroosevelt.com