Rising from the ashes after vacating it's former Beverly Hills location (due to a metro extension), The Phoenix has been reborn, and is better than ever. Shawn Antonio, the charismatic GM, described this rebirth succinctly: "if that was college, this is grad school." And he's right. Owned and designed by Adolfo Suaya (with architect Christoph Kapeller) the new location on West 3rd is certainly more mature, with a beautiful marble bar, wood details, colorful tiling, and a classic-yet-modern look that cements it as a go-to watering hole. But in case you miss the life size games of Jenga that characterized the old space, don't worry, we've been told that it'll be returning to their nicely sized back patio (which also features a projection screen for forthcoming movie nights). Since growing up, The Phoenix still hasn't lost it's sense of fun, as Shawn made it clear that this was a no reservations, no dress code, and no douche bag zone: just good drinks, good food, and good times.
To get you started on the "good drinks" part of the night, we suggest looking no further than their curated cocktail list (courtesy of Ryan Sweeney) for treats like The Paloma (served on draft) and the 3rd Street Elyxir (my drink of choice), which was light, refreshing, citrus-y, a bit sweet, and really delicious. They also boast an extensive whiskey menu (Shawn made it clear that this is "a whiskey bar. Not a lounge. Not a nightclub. Not a restaurant."), and an impressive craft beer list.
Though it's a whiskey bar, the food (also created by owner Adolfo Suaya) is just as tasty. Grilled bread is definitely a speciality; toasty, melty, and soft on the inside, it's served on the side of everything from the Grilled Lamb Merguez Sausage to the 8oz Skirt Steak. The steak itself is cooked really nicely. It's tender, flavorful, and receives a nice little boost of flavor from the chimichurri. My favorite is undoubtedly the Grilled Lamb Merguez Sausage, which is meaty, grilled to perfection, and has an impressive depth of flavor. Served with that bread and some sweet peppers, it's the perfect comforting dish to indulge in after a rough day at work.
Considering it just re-opened and it's already hopping, The Phoenix is poised for a bangin' return. The grown-up space still maintains the charm and sense of fun as the last location, but adds a new sophistication that makes it the perfect place to pop in for happy hour, or get some late night drinks and snacks, filling a void in the bustling W. 3rd St neighborhood. We definitely recommend checking it out, and we'll be on the lookout for the resurrection of their famous life-size games of Jenga.