Westbound Opens its Doors!

The DTLA Arts District is now the host of a new bar and eatery that concocts cocktails from around the world, fine dining-styled bar snacks, and signature old-fashioned service inside the One Santa Fe complex.
 On Thursday, May 5, Westbound—a bar, eatery, and debut establishment from entrepreneur Sarah Meade—joined Downtown Los Angeles’s Arts District. Headed by Lead Bartender Dee Ann Quinones  and Chef Gary Nguyen, Westbound offers a menu of artisanal curated bar snacks, a wanderlust-inspired cocktail menu, and an old-fashioned approach to service.

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Its location of One Sante Fe, an apartment complex and thriving retail space, was previously the passenger terminal for La Grande Station (a main Los Angeles hub prior to Union Station’s 1939 debut) and traces of the area’s colorful railway history are found throughout the space. The bar’s name was bred from the time of expansion when people were traveling “Westbound.”

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As an operations manager for several places, owner Sarah Meade saw the quickly growing potential in Downtown Los Angeles.

“There’s so much potential [for LA] to be recognized in the restaurant and bar culture on a global scale,” she says. With her focus on old-fashioned hospitality, impeccable attention to detail, and the duality of a neighborhood and sophisticated bar/eatery, she and her location will be sure to leave its mark on Los Angeles.

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Few bars in Los Angeles have an exemplary complimentary culinary program. L.A. native Chef Gary Nguyen is bringing the energy and quality of fine dining and making it more approachable for the community. Chef Nguyen sources his inspiration from seasonal foraging and following his ever-changing love affair with different flavors and foods. His menu—an assortment of small plates and elevated bar snacks— includes “Foie ‘n’ Waffle” featuring brioche, espresso, maple, and navel orange compote, New Zealand Tai Snapper Crudo with pickled serrano, basil, coconut, balsamic anchovies, and crispy shallot, and Beet Trifle with beet meringue, orange cake, brandy caramel, and a spring herb ice cream.

Not only does Chef Nguyen create exquisite dishes, he is also the co-owner of an apron company, which features aprons made by service professionals for service professionals. Keep an eye out and ears open for his up and coming pop-up called “The Pink Lady.”

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Coming from New York, bar manager Dee Ann Quinones has crafted an incredibly diverse cocktail menu.

“This bar is approachable,” she exclaims. “It’s built for whatever experience your looking for. Come in to relax and get a classic or try something new and geek out with us!”

The friendliness of the staff at the bar was extremely memorable, from the genuine welcome stepping in through the door to the helpful and sincere conversation with the bar staff.

“Our entire staff is regularly being educated and cross-trained; this way, not only can we provide quality and attention to detail, but we can always be refining and perfecting.” says Dee Ann

Unique cocktails include “The Conductor” made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, black sesame, tamarind, egg white, and lemon and the “Sinatra and Chanel,” made with Monkey Shoulder Whiskey, coco palm, frankincense, and sour cherry bitters. Classic cocktails include the Pharmaceutical Stimulant made with Aylesbury Duck Vodka, espresso, and Varnelli Caffè Moka.  “This is my art!” states Dee Ann and believe me when I say this: art tastes so good at Westbound! The down to earth staff hosts the most refreshing balance of not only an exemplary bar and eatery but also ooze with genuine hospitality, which makes this the perfect place to sit back and unwind while reveling in the mystery of your next destination.

Hours of operation: Tuesday-Saturday 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday 5 p.m.-midnight; closed Mondays.

For more details on Westbound please visit www.westbounddtla.com

 

Contributing Photographer

Raquel "Rocky" Natalicchio is an international photo journalist who is currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. She is passionately attached to her camera and how they view the world. Having been raised as a traveler, living in Madrid, Barcelona, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and traveling throughout Europe, her style, personality, and ability to climb anything in her path have put her in the forefront of street and urban photography. Keep up with her on the next adventure by Following her IG: @rockmyworldrocky , #RNPExplores