This is the mere sidebar to a bigger October print story about the Wonka-esque whiskey factory that is Lost Spirits DTLA, but the boozes deserve their due. I was given a lovely personal tour of Pasadena’s Stark Spirits by the even lovelier Karen and Greg Stark themselves. Their booze, loveliest of all, was so damned good I blew most of my pay stocking my home bar. (May I also recommend their Brennivín-esque aquavit, California Silver Rum, and peated single-malt? No? Well, I already did. Sorry.) Paul Ryan, no relation, also walked me through the Loft & Bear loft, where there was a bear-sized dog, and Max at The Spirit Guild gave me tastes of each isolated botanical from their Astral Gin in the form of pulls from jugs of sage-, pistachio-, peppercorn-, etc.-infused vodkas. The only reason I didn’t include Greenbar’s Grand Poppy amaro is this: I wrote about it in the magazine’s Best of L.A. issue. Also, try their City Bright Gin. It’s dope.