NIK BLASKOVICH PHOTO
January 25, 2008 9:05 AM
Sigmund Freud once said, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” And sometimes a bar is just a bar. That is, while many of the bars we stop at offer pages of cocktails and their variations, some bars keep it simple. Real simple. Nobody’s stopping by asking for a Blue Hawaii. So it was as our mixology party stepped into Monty’s Sports Bar.
The bar takes up a humble space next to Woody’s Barbecue in the Magnolia Shopping Center, a retail space that includes a supermarket, a health food store, a karate dojo and a fencing school (we want to meet the person for whom this combination makes for one-stop-shopping).
Don’t let the dark windows fool you, the interior of Monty’s is as well lit as a coffee shop, laden with announcements for game viewings, contests and of course, karaoke night .
But tonight it’s slow, and Mo Boek stands behind the bar, at first wondering what we’re all about. Well, we’re all about sampling cocktails, and Boek doesn’t let us down.
First up is a classic margarita, on the rocks and in a lowball glass, with the requisite-but-still-hair-raising rim of salt. Boek balanced the flavors just right, lining them up in opposition to the salt.
Boek has been tending bar at a number of Santa Barbara and Goleta locales for many decades.
Mo made us a Perfect Manhattan (“Perfect” in that it mixes both sweet and dry vermouth), which came in a charming small Martini glass. Many bars skimp on the vermouth, unbalancing the whiskey, but here (with Beam’s Eight Star) the mix was correct.
We left with a straightforward, no-nonsense Martini. If you like your martinis light on the vermouth, then Mo’s version might be for you.
VODKA MARTINI (Monty’s style)
2 oz. Level vodka
1 oz. dry vermouth
Fill a glass half-full with crushed ice. Add vermouth and let sit for 20 seconds. Strain out most of the vermouth, then add vodka to remaining ice, add contents to shaker and agitate. Pour straight into martini glass and garnish with olive.
MONTY’S SPORTS BAR
5114 Hollister Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily