NOSTALGIA BAR & LOUNGE
HIGH TIMES IN SANTA MONICA
There’s something reassuring and comforting about nostalgia. Whether it’s reminiscing about good times from ‘back in the day’ or looking back at the classics, especially when it comes to cuisine and cocktails, the combination of old and new is often a good recipe for success.
At Nostalgia Bar & Lounge in Santa Monica, The Herbal Chef Chris Sayegh and his team are playfully looking back at childhood Americana with a modern-day THC approach. Believe me, this isn’t your daddy’s watering hole, instead it has been reimagined with sophistication and a wink-of-an-eye giving guests the opportunity to sip inventive CBD- and terpene-infused cocktails that draw inspiration from nostalgic delights like Otter-Pops, Orange Julius, and Capri Suns. You can also play old-school board games like Operation and Battleship in the lounge, or kick back on the numerous picnic tables situated on the expansive outdoor patio.
Sayegh along with Chef and Partner Jared Ventura, Services Director Jack Goldberg, and Beverage Director Bradley Fry have created a playful New American bites menu and a quality bar program at Nostalgia. Offering both an indoor and outdoor experience, the space offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere where you can chill and play board games or sink into a comfy leather sofa.
“We created Nostalgia to bring back those care-free memories from back in the day, especially after these tough two years,” says Sayegh. “Playing board games with friends and family, sharing delicious food together, and listening to our favorite tapes and CDs, Nostalgia reminds us of the good times with a more refined food and beverage experience that diners of today, regardless if you graduated high school in 1995 or were born that same year, will appreciate and indulge.”
During our recent visit, we started with Oysters Two Ways from the Bites menu. The $28 Lobster Roll is pricey but delicious. It just depends how good you want to treat yourself. Likewise, the Kobe Toast, prepared with freshly made sourdough toast, whole grain mustard aioli topped with A5 Kobe beef lightly torched with marinated radish, turnip and microgreens, is so very tasty. It’s $15 for a half order and $30 for a full order. Again, it’s pricey but it is a toast to remember. The Tempura Fried Cauliflower and the Kampachi Crudo are two other solid starter items.
If you’re looking for fun and playful cocktails, Nostalgia has you covered. There’s the Treat You Right, which is their take on a classic Orange Julius with Old Forester, orange, vanilla, egg white and cream. Enchanted the Whip is a play on a Dole-Whip from Disneyland with Plantation Pineapple rum, Clement Mahina Coco, pineapple, and vanilla ice cream. The Woo-Hoo is a take on the beloved Yoo-hoo with Tito’s Vodka, Tai Maria, Crème de Cacao, and espresso. The End of the Otter Pop is the bar’s take on the very end of the Otter Pop with Tito’s Vodka, Clement Creole Shrubb, blueberry, raspberry, honey, and Abstrax Raspberry Lemonade Terpene. And the Breakfast Club is a clarified milk punch and a spin on Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal with Black Cow Vodka, Kasama Rum, Rumchata, and Cinnamon Toast (milk punch).
If you’re looking for boozier cocktails, the $26 Apples to Oranges with Buffalo Trace, Apple Brandy, blood orange, apple cinnamon, and applewood smoked with Stündenglass (gravity infuser) is a good way to go. Your Instagram will thank you.
Another stiff drink (in price and taste) is the $24 American Baller with St. George Baller Whiskey, Bruto Americano Brandy, Clement Creole Schrubb, and hazelnut. At Nostalgia, you can opt to go fun or go hard. FYI, you can also add CBD to any mocktail or non-alcoholic beverage.
It should also be noted that The Herbal Chef Chris Sayegh is also helming a Secret Supper Club—a limited and private members-only “speakeasy”—that invites 10-20 members to enjoy at 12-course meal, including infused cocktails and wine pairing. Each plate is expertly dosed according to personal tolerance thresholds. The goal is to accent each dish with cannabis.
While Nostalgia is in Santa Monica, it’s not a beach bar. It’s too far from the water. But it is a fun spot to hangout, eat and drink. The outdoor patio is perfect for some much-needed summer nights indulgence.
Nostalgia Bar & Lounge is located at 1326 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica. Open Wednesday – Sunday from 3pm to 2am. Daily Happy Hour from 3pm to 5pm.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Nostalgia Bar & Lounge