Los Angeles Times - - SATURDAY - BY JENN HAR­RIS jenn.har­ris@la­

Peo­ple who call them­selves se­ri­ous im­bibers are prob­a­bly reg­u­lars some­where. You walk in, the staff calls you by your first name and your drink of choice is al­ready sit­ting at the bar wait­ing. In Los An­ge­les, as is the case with many food- and drink-cen­tric cities, you can ei­ther be a real regular or find a way to buy your way into the culi­nary in­ner cir­cle. And at some restau­rants, you can buy a pri­vate liquor or wine locker, which guar­an­tees you ev­ery­thing from a ta­ble when you walk in to ac­cess to pri­vate par­ties. At one sushi bar, fre­quent vis­its can earn you spe­cial ser­vice — and a prized pair of designer chop­sticks. The fol­low­ing are some bars and restau­rants of­fer­ing pa­trons the chance to be reg­u­lars. Get ready for some se­ri­ous brag­ging rights.

Bar Jack­a­lope At Seven Grand’s 16-seat whiskey lounge, pur­chas­ing a bot­tle of whiskey en­ti­tles you to store that bot­tle in one of the restau­rant’s whiskey lock­ers. See a wait­ing list when you come in? You can jump the list. You can also make a reser­va­tion for be­fore 10 p.m. And the locker comes with cart ser­vice, in­clud­ing glass­ware and an eye­drop­per full of spring wa­ter. You’re au­to­mat­i­cally added to the Seven Grand Whiskey So­ci­ety, which in­cludes in­vi­ta­tions to more than 30 events a year fea­tur­ing dis­tillers and brand am­bas­sadors. And on the pa­tio, cigars. Ac­cord­ing to Seven Grand Gen­eral Manager An­drew Abra­ham­son, the pri­vate locker con­cept started with room for 42 bot­tles but has grown to in­clude room for more than 300.

515 W. 7th St., Los An­ge­les, (213) 614-0736,­v­en­grand­

Cross­roads Kitchen Tal Ron­nen’s ve­gan restau­rant has 30 pri­vate liquor lock­ers, but they’re not for sale. When the restau­rant opened in 2013, the lock­ers were given to in­vestors, friends and fam­ily. From time to time, Ron­nen says, he gives a locker to a spe­cial guest, but they’ve never been for sale. If you want to earn one, you’ll have to be­come one of those spe­cial guests. Ve­gan cheese any­one?

8284 Mel­rose Ave., Los An­ge­les, (323) 782-9245, www.cross­road­

Kura Fine Ja­panese Cui­sine Near the sushi bar, there’s a book­shelf with more than 100 thin, rec­tan­gu­lar, col­or­ful plas­tic boxes full of chop­sticks. Each has its own black-and-white la­bel with a regular’s name printed on the front. You can­not buy a box or sim­ply come in once a week to earn your own set. Daniel Son, who is the head chef and owns the restau­rant with his par­ents, Michelle and Sunny, his brother Sa­muel and his sis­ter An­nie, says he and his fam­ily have meet­ings to de­cide who’ll get the next pair of chop­sticks. The chop­sticks are pur­chased at a Ja­panese store in Lit­tle Tokyo, and each fea­tures a dif­fer­ent de­sign.

8162 W. Sun­set Blvd., Los An­ge­les, (323) 656-6347,

Morton’s Ev­ery lo­ca­tion of Morton’s the Steak­house has a se­lec­tion of wine lock­ers for its VIP clients. In Bur­bank, there are 68, in down­town L.A., 32. To get one, there isn’t a fee, there’s an ap­pli­ca­tion — and a wait­ing list. Locker own­ers in Cal­i­for­nia (there are Morton’s in many states) buy wines from the restau­rant at a 10% dis­count, and out­side your locker will be a gold plaque with your name on it. If you’re a VIP and you want a locker, but there are none avail­able, Morton’s will store your bot­tle in a locked wine room as a sort of vir­tual wine locker ser­vice.

735 S. Figueroa St., No. 207, Los An­ge­les, (213) 553-4566, www.mor­

Now Board­ing At this West Hol­ly­wood cock­tail lounge, there are 28 liquor lock­ers for own­ers, key sup­pli­ers and VIPs, but the re­main­ing 50 are for sale. If you want one — and membership to the lounge’s Fifty50 club for fre­quent fliers — it will cost you $600 a year. With that membership comes a free first bot­tle, a 50% dis­count on all other bot­tles, a key chain, pri­or­ity en­try on week­ends and in­vi­ta­tions to mem­bers-only par­ties. The bar staff has al­ready noted a cou­ple of odd mem­ber re­quests. One Aus­tralian cus­tomer re­quested that the bar keep Bund­aberg rum in his locker. (It’s not sold in the U.S., so the bar is look­ing for a way to get it.) An­other cus­tomer re­quested a bot­tle of “three pe­nis liquor” made with seal, deer and dog gen­i­talia.

7746 Santa Mon­ica Blvd., West Hol­ly­wood, (323) 848-8447,­board­

Steak & Whisky Scott Young, direc­tor of op­er­a­tions, says that when build­ing the restau­rant, the own­ers de­cided to turn a lit­tle ex­tra space into 10 liquor lock­ers. For Young, it was a way to rec­og­nize a small but loyal com­mu­nity of pa­trons. The restau­rant has been open for only a cou­ple of months, and they’ve al­ready sold four of the 10. To lease a locker for a year, it’s $500, plus $500 worth of prod­ucts from the restau­rant, with a 40% dis­count. And when the restau­rant re­ceives rare whiskeys, such as a hard-tofind Pappy Van Win­kle, Young says he of­fers them to the locker hold­ers first. Cur­rently, his fa­vorite avail­able whiskeys in­clude a Nikka Cof­fey still grain whiskey and an Or­phan Bar­rel project called Barter­house.

117 Pier Ave., Her­mosa Beach, (310) 318-5555, www.steakand

Lawrence K. Ho Los An­ge­les Times


in down­town L.A., pur­chas­ing a bot­tle of whiskey en­ti­tles you to store that bot­tle in one of the lock­ers.

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