Random Martini Quote of the Day

Ogden Nash


“There is something about a martini, Ere the dining and dancing begin, And to tell you the truth, It is not the vermouth – I think that perhaps it’s the gin.”
Ogden Nash


Our  “Martini Quotes” page has been re-organized!  If you haven’t checked it out recently you should!   There are several new quotes for your amusement.  Click the link: Martini Quotes.

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Random Martini Quote of the Day

Whisky Glass

“Whisky, I find, helps clarity of thought. And reduces pain. It has the additional virtue of making you drunk or, if taken in sufficient quantity, very drunk.”
Julian Barnes


Yes, I know, its not a “Martini” quote, but I found it amusing and thought it worthy of publishing.  If you have any favorite Martini, or Whiskey, quotes you want added to my Quotes page, please let me know.

Our  “Martini Quotes” page has been re-organized!  If you haven’t checked it out recently you should!   There are several new quotes for your amusement.  Click the link: Martini Quotes.

If you like these posts and want to be notified by email when they come in, please subscribe to the blog…. over on the left column.     😉

Bar Review: Traxx, Los Angeles, CA


On a recent visit to downtown Los Angeles I found my way into a little bar called Traxx and was pleasantly surprised with the service, decor, and most importantly, the Marini.

Traxx is located within the beautiful and historic Union Station in Los Angeles.  Yes, the Amtrak / Metro Rail / Metrolink station.  Not where one would expect to find a quality bar.  But indeed this small and obscure bar is quite an oasis within the mad hustle and bustle of rail passengers rushing to & from the tracks, buses, taxis, and ubers.

Now one has to be careful that you find the bar and not the Traxx Restaurant.  The two are operated as a common entity, but they are physically separate.  I understand that the restaurant is really quite fine and their drinks come from the separate bar.  Alternatively, food orders at the bar come from the Restaurant kitchen.   But I have never had the good fortune to be at Union Station when the restaurant is open so I can only speak to the Bar itself.

The bar is just to the right as you enter the Station’s main entrance.  There are no large signs or neon lights inviting you in so its easy to miss if you’re rushing in to catch a train or rushing out to catch a taxi.  But if you slow down you’ll find it.

Once the original Telephone Room for all of Union Station, it is a time machine to a lost era.  Decorated in  gorgeous art deco wood, terra cotta, and marble tiled floors that spill out onto the main ticket concourse.  This is the classic atmosphere that catered to Bogart & Bacall, a backdrop of the classic golden days of Hollywood.   You can almost feel the ghosts of yesterday brush against you today

As for the Martini itself, they were excellent.  The stems were well chilled, the Martini was well shaken, poured immediately, and ample sized.  The barkeep was professional, friendly, and quite helpful.

Overall I give Traxx one Stem.  The criteria for two stems has always been “Worth a trip just to try the Martini”.  I can’t quite say that I would go there ONLY for the Martini.  But I would definitely go there for the Martini and the ambiance.

Martini Glass Upright

For selection Traxx gets a A.  Their Gins during my visit included Plymouth, Botanist, Bluecoat, Aviation, Few, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Bombay, Tanqueray, Hendricks, St. George Botanivore, St. George Terroir, and Monkey 47.

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More on Union Station:

Union Station is definitely worth a visit.  This opulent station was build in 1939 and combines Spanish Colonial, Art Deco, and Streamline Moderne Architecture that represent California’s heritage and future ambitions.

The lower parts of the interior walls are covered in travertine marble and the floor in the large rooms is terra cotta with a central strip of inlaid marble (including travertine, somewhat unusual in floors since it is soft). The ceiling in the waiting room has the appearance of wood, but is actually made of steel.


It was built to consolidate rail services from the three main passenger railroads serving Los Angeles at that time (the Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Southern Pacific).   Conceived on a grand scale, Union Station became known as the “Last of the Great Railway Stations” built in the United States and remains the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

UP-Logo SP-Logo ATSF-Logo

Today, the station is the major transportation hub for Southern California, serving almost 110,000 passengers a day.   In addition to being the origin of Amtrak’s three long distance trains (the Coast Starlight to Seattle, the Southwest Chief and “Texas Eagle” to Chicago, and the Sunset Limited to New Orleans), it also serves Amtrak’s California Pacific Surfliner regional trains which run frequently to/from San Diego north to either Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo. The station is also the hub of the Metrolink commuter trains and serves as a stop on the Metro Rail system.

Bar Review: Bistango, Irvine, CA

Bistango Bar Small

I recently found myself at Bistango, a well reviewed Orange County Restaurant serving “New American” cuisine.  It has earned ratings of 4.3 on Yelp, 4.4 on both Open Table and Facebook, and 24 on Zagat.  Sadly I have only had a limited selection of the food, but what I had was excellent.

The best way I can describe the decor here is “Modern Neutral”.   It is open, airy, clean, and crisp.  There are contemporary artist’s works decorating the walls which are a mix of oranges, reds, and browns.  Sort of a southwest “earthy” scheme.  It is not exciting, but not boring; not avant-garde, but certainly not stale. Overall very comfortable, relaxed, and inviting.

The bar is just to the right as you enter, clearly inviting one to sit and enjoy a beverage of your choice.  They have a live entertainment in the evenings and there’s a small dance floor which did get some use.  There is also an outside patio if you prefer your meal or drink in the open air.

Of course, my choice is a Martini which at Bistango are really very good.  Mine was ample, nicely prepared, shaken just enough so that the drink was very well chilled but not overly diluted, and served promptly, efficiently, and cheerfully.  If you’re not interested in a Martini, the bar overall is well stocked with a nice selection of ports, whiskeys, spirits, and cognacs.

I do have to point out that on my most recent visit I did have the unfortunate experience that the stem had not been chilled in any manor … not refrigerated and no effort made to chill it with ice and water prior to pouring the drink.  I hope this was a simple oversight because on my previous visits the stems were properly prechilled.

Overall I would highly recommend Bistango and I certainly intend to return.  It is also just a few blocks away from John Wayne International Airport which brings one to think it would be a nice stop for a ‘just landed’ or ‘Bon Voyage’ Martini.

For a final grade I give Bistango one stem:  Martini Glass Upright

For Gin selection Bistango gets an A-.  They have a very nice selection with several different styles of Gin including a couple unusual choices.  Tru Organic specifically comes to mind, though I didn’t get a chance to sample it.  Choices this day were:  Bluecoat, Hendricks’, Botanist Islay, Ford’s, Sloane’s, Tru Organic, Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Beefeater, No. 3 London, Nolet’s.

If you’re curious about the nightly entertainment or the menus, you can find them here: www.bistango.com

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