Cocktail Studio City

The Bar at Oyster House Becomes Streamlined Studio City Drinking Den

Flask Fine Wines & Whisky owner Peter Jarjour transforms The Bar at Oyster House in Studio City as a neighborhood drinking den.

Longtime institution The Oyster House, known for stiff drinks, shucked oysters and oyster shooters, went dark in July. Turns out Flask Fine Wines & Whisky owner Peter Jarjour has purchased the neighborhood haunt. He did away with food, and now the focus is ambitious cocktails. The retooled version goes by The Bar at Oyster House.

“If we didn’t take it over, it would have gone away,” Peter says, adding that the landlord wanted someone with experience in spirits as a tenant. Flask Fine Wines debuted five years ago, selling varied spirits and housing a wine bar. “The natural progression goes from bar and wine to pouring wine and spirits.”

He recruited longtime beverage expert and barman Rory Snipes to develop the bar program. Cocktail standards range from $9 to $14 and include high-quality spirits.

Frozen drinks bring to mind Bourbon Street, but these versions aren’t too sweet and don’t look radioactive. I suggest Picking Apples, basically a boozy apple sauce featuring Pommeau de Normandie apéritif made with real apples, Plantation pineapple rum and T.H. Kramers Aromatique bitters. Tart, sliced, green Granny Smith apples and cinnamon sugar serve as garnishes. This drink arrives in a glass vessel that rests over another glass filled with ice—to prevent dilution and slow melting.

House specialties include the Pearl Diver—a blush, tangy blend of Scarlet Ibis rum, Skipper Demerara rum, Falernum spiced syrup, citrus juice and “Don’s Mix” (a nod to the recipe of local Tiki legend Don the Beachcomber). Lime wheels and mint are colorful garnishes.

Spirit-forward highballs are carbonated to order. One drink named #102 features Saveiro bourbon barrel Madeira and is served with chocolate-covered espresso beans, which complement the drink’s caramel notes. Oyster House regulars will probably be relieved to learn that they can still get a beer and a shot—even decidedly uncrafty cans like Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

For people who like to nibble, the only option here is complimentary Chex Mix. Customers are welcome to bring in their own food, and Peter says the plan is for the bar to eventually host food trucks. Cocktails and food trucks? Talk about old meets new.

12446 Moorpark St., Studio City, 818-761-8686