So here’s the way the world (sometimes) works. Deysi Alvarez was born in El Salvador, raised in Colombia, and finds her way much later to Los Angeles, but the apartment she lives in downtown is right above Rivera, one of the premiere South American restaurants. She ditches her real estate career to learn everything she can about mixology, by hook or by bloody crook. And several restaurants later, here she is, in charge of Blue Tavern’s cocktail list (as well as several down in L.A.).
Lower State Street giveth and it taketh away: Apéro opened last week downtown in the spot formerly known as Verdé, formerly known as Zia Cafe. Yes, we know, Verdé wasn’t even here a year and now it’s toast. Santa Barbara is a harsh mistress for those in the restaurant trade. But Anthony Van Daele has been thinking of his idea for a while and hopes that his Western European tapas and appetizers way of thinking, coupled with an open-late bar on State Street, will bring in those wanting a late-night bite but not wanting to go clubbing.