The wine tap revolution is underway. The wine drinker is now able to find establishments that serve wine on tap from New York (the excellent Brooklyn Winery) to Los Angeles (Father’s Office) and everywhere in between. Now, Angelenos have another great option in Hollywood at Lucky Devils, a restaurant and bar that just underwent some extensive renovations, part of which entailed having brand-new wine taps installed.
I was invited to check out Lucky Devils and was very happy to do so; I remember having some beers there years ago, but I am much more a fan of wine than beer, and am a huge proponent of wines served on tap (which is economical, much better for the environment, and helps ensure very fresh wine).
The space is great: in keeping with its name, the color palette is red. There’s a very long bar, tables, and booths. There are a large number of beers on tap, a full assortment of hard liquor, and 16 wines on tap (which is double the number at Father’s Office). In terms of ambience, it would be a good place for both dates and office happy hours.
I sat down to quite a reception from the proprietor of Lucky Devils, who, not coincidentally, is named Lucky. Lucky has had an interesting life to say the least: he was an Army Ranger, model/actor, and now a restaurant owner.
The first glass was the 2010 Acrobat Pinot Gris from Oregon, a wonderfully fresh white with notes of lime and grass. Full of zippy acidity, this was one of my favorite wines of the evening. It came accompanied by a fully-loaded “nosh plate” that featured spicy hummus, flatbread, house-smoked almonds, Fiscalini bandage-wrapped cheddar, and an assortment of pickled vegetables:
The smoked almonds were killer, and the Fiscalini cheddar was superb–reminded me of the Cabot Clothbound cheddar we sold at Marlow & Daughters.
Next up were a trio of grilled cheese sandwiches. The first was a goat cheese, provolone, pesto, and thyme butter sandwich with the 2011 Royal Palm Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon. The second was a house-smoked white cheddar and tomato chutney sandwich with the 2010 Morning Light Sangiovese Rosé. The third was the “Lucky Grilled Cheese”, chock full of smoked cheddar and beer-caramelized onions. This was paired with the 2011 Baileyana Chardonnay.
It was hard to choose my favorite sandwich because each was good in its own way. It’s like choosing a favorite child, I suppose. I really appreciated the thyme butter in the first sandwich, and the tomato chutney was very distinctive. I think that each of the wines paired well with its respective sandwich. The Royal Palm was my favorite of the three wines. It resembled a solid white Bordeaux and was very easy to drink.
As if the grilled cheese sandwiches were not enough, next up were a trio of flatbread pizzas. The first was a goat cheese, pesto, and cheddar pizza accompanied by the 2010 Shannon Ridge Sauvignon Blanc. The second was a gruyere, bacon, and onion pizza accompanied by the 2009 Morning Light Sangiovese. The third was a buttermilk blue cheese, fresh fig, and chipotle porter reduction pizza accompanied by the 2010 Acrobat Pinot Noir. My God, these were great pizzas:
My favorite pizza was the one with the fresh figs: it hit so many of the right notes for me, with the contrast between the salty-savory blue cheese and the cleanly-sweet figs. My favorite of the three wines was the Sangiovese, which was nicely complex with damp earth mixed in with cherries. I liked the Pinot on its own, but didn’t think the pairing with the blue cheese pizza was optimal.
By this point I was absurdly full, but Lucky had saved the best for last: three full-sized burgers, each swaddled in a glistening brioche bun, and each paired with a wine. The patties were seven ounces of grass-fed Snake River Farms kobe beef.
This is when I fell in love with Lucky Devils. The burgers were superb.
The first burger had bacon, caramelized onions, and a blackberry reduction that hit me with a sweet caress after the initial onslaught of greasy goodness. I washed down the two or three bites I could manage with a few sips of the 2010 Kemiji Pinot Noir, which was a good pairing with its blackberry and lavender notes.
The second burger had white cheddar, tomato chutney, crisp-fried onions, and barbecue sauce. Oh man, this was a slap in the face to Carl’s Jr. The 2009 Silvertap Zinfandel was probably my favorite wine of the evening. Zin gets a bad rap, but it can be both fun and serious. This one was full of raspberry jam, spice, and had medium tannins; it was a smooth, full wine that I would have been content to drink all day. It was perfect with the barbecue sauce, too.
The last burger was the aptly-named “Diablo burger”: it featured white cheddar, double-smoked bacon, avocado, wild arugula, hot sauce, and thousand island dressing. This burger was insanely messy and packed a discernable kick. It reminded me of a spicy California roll. This one was accompanied by the 2008 Fulton Lane Cabernet Franc.
By this point I was full of bacon, cheese, multiple sauces, and wine. I was quite the Lucky Devil myself for making it out of there without a heart attack.
I would highly recommend Lucky Devil. As mentioned above, it would make both a good casual date place and an awesome office happy hour spot. It’s comfortable, and there’s very attentive service (thanks Jared!). There’s not much street parking in the area, but there’s valet and public lots nearby. Grab some friends, carpool, and get lucky!
LUCKY DEVILS TAVERN
6613 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
– Diablo burger
– Anything with thyme butter
– 2010 Acrobat Pinot Gris
– 2009 Morning Light Sangiovese (if you like lighter red wines)
– 2009 Silvertap Zinfandel (if you like bolder red wines)