Garden-Variety Cocktails

Matthew Biancaniello's produce-intensive drinks hit Downtown

Ordering a drink at The Roosevelt Hotel's Library Bar usual involves talking to a bartender over a colorful barrier of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Across town, at the Luxe City Center Hotel's new FigOly, the bar is far less pastoral, its edges highlighted in gaudy neon-green lights.

Still, ingredients such as chives and Green Zebra tomatoes are hidden somewhere behind the glowing bar. That's because Library Bar's Matthew Biancaniello created FigOly's drinks, marking the cult bartender's first departure from his dark, delicious corner of the Roosevelt.

A Pimm's Cup is the perfect context to introduce a new drinker to Biancaniello's produce-heavy, somewhat savory palate. The muddled flavors of FigOly's Pimm's #10 find radish, rhubarb, shiso and lime all augmenting the classic cucumber, creating a drink highly conducive to lazy-afternoon sipping. Same goes for the easy-drinking raspberry-ginger bourbon cocktail The Other Side (pictured; $15)

A few Library Bar favorites have made the trip Downtown, including the Roquette ($14), a salad-like gin drink that's made with a fistful of arugula, and a strawberry-gin cocktail anointed with 25-year-old balsamic vinegar, The Last Tango in Modena ($15).

New or old, Biancaniello's drinks taste just as lovely at L.A. Live as they do in Hollywood.

FigOly, 1020 S. Figueroa St., Downtown; 213-743-7600 or figoly.com