What a Trip

Roy Choi's quirky Pot Lobby Bar is like nowhere else

An evening filled with kimchi-flavored soju, packets of flaming-hot corn twists and plastic squirt guns?

Sounds like just another night at Roy Choi's new drinking den, Pot Lobby Bar.

Housed inside The Line Hotel, the bar offers a fascinating peek into the high-low mind of the streetwise L.A. chef, who is the creative force behind all of the food and beverage outlets for the new boutique hotel in Koreatown, including the forthcoming Pot restaurant.

Pot Lobby Bar

Cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello and Choi have dreamed up a list of head-snapping drinks, which fall into two categories: There are creations that focus on a single, unmistakable ingredient, like the "Uni" ($13), which balances reposado tequila with toasted nori, cumin, and the lush brine of sous-vide Santa Barbara uni. Another punches up kimchi-infused soju with a pungent garlic tincture and Durian bitters. Both are delicious and odd as hell.

The second category pays homage to club classics pulled from the Dark Ages of mixology and reimagined. Fuzzy Navels ($11), made with peach and apricot liqueurs and puréed passionfruit, aren't the same ones you sipped in high school. Dude-approved White Russians ($11) involve candy cap mushroom-infused vodka, Kahlúa foam and ground espresso beans.

Long Island Ice Tea ($13) alchemizes mezcal, aquavit, arrack, rum and gin into a quenching, quaffable and highly intoxicating beverage–with the aid of blood orange juice and cubes of aloe vera pulp.

While you drink, snack on bags of chicharones or shrimp chips ($2) and play with cheap knick-knacks like rose-shaped lollipops and plastic army men, all available for purchase from a sort of mini bodega stationed around the bar.

"It's meant to be a mirror of K-town," says Choi, "all these different cultures mixing together in one mystical place."