Since we last checked out The Bourbon Room in Goleta, they’ve been taking in a steady stream of customers wanting to check out its Victorian drawing room vibe, its faithful recreation of Dean-o’s Pizzarama, its bitters club, and, of course, its cocktails. And they have a cool Instagram/Facebook thing going on if you can handle the intertubes. Mostly Anna Sacks and Al Rojas post pictures of their cocktail du jour; it took a full month of us getting all thirsty before we had to swing by and take a chance. Most drinks are bourbon by namesake, although the bartenders have been known to dip into tequila, vodka and the rest.
We barely had a chance to mourn Meat ‘n’ Potatoes, the restaurant and bar next to the raucous Creekside, when it turned into something called The Bourbon Room. So we set out to investigate one wet, windy evening this week and found the place transformed: red leather booths, wallpaper and old paintings. It was like a speakeasy had landed in your mad grandma’s attic. Owners Anna Louise Sacks (of Wisconsin) and Alvaro Castellanos Rojas (of Milk & Honey and Alcazar) recently opened this restaurant and made sure the bar was ace. And it is. A majority of the drinks are bourbon-based. We tried a Bittered Sling, adapted from the one at Sly’s in Carpinteria, a simple mix of bourbon, sugar, and Angostura bitters with a slice of orange zest. The Wisco Old Fashioned muddles similar amounts of bourbon with cherries and orange. Nothing fussy. Just old school recipes. The two are most happy about their Kitty Coupe Deville, which uses bourbon, mint, sugar, cherry-infused bourbon and lime and mixes it into a lovely rocks cocktail both slightly sweet and mature.