New: Fiscal Agent Bar Lets You In On The Secret

Despite no signage and a future “secret” cocktail menu, The Fiscal Agent welcomes you.

Don’t look for a sign—if you want to find The Fiscal Agent, look for the velvet rope across a narrow alley running down the side of popular Barrel & Ashes restaurant in Studio City. But instead of a snooty bouncer like you might find at some exclusive club over the hill, you’ll find a warm and friendly door-person apologizing for the fact that The Fiscal Agent, opened in late October, can only seat 35 and admits only 50 patrons at a time.

Even without a reservation, our door-person was able to admit The Sauce-plus-one with no wait last Wednesday around 9:30 p.m. Down the side corridor and up a steep staircase, we found The Fiscal Agent, brought to you by the bar team of Julian Cox (the mixologist’s first stand-alone bar), Nick Meyer, Dave Kupchinsky and Kristina Howald, with shareable foods from Barrel & Ashes chef Michael Kahikina.

Named for a cocktail popular near the end of the 19th century, The Fiscal Agent offers a dark, bespoke atmosphere with peppy music, happy minglers and helpful wait staff who seem genuinely distressed upon hearing that the arancini (rice balls in a smoked tomato sauce) don’t quite rise to the perfection of the delicate fresh Peruvian scallops on the half-shell, served raw with cilantro and cucumber.

So mesmerized by a cocktail menu that includes the likes of the Granita Applebaum (Tapatio Tequila Blanc, Dollin Blanc Vermouth, acidulated water, Green Apple Snow, thyme and pomegranate seeds) and the Fir Galicious (pear butter, fresh lemon juice, Noilly Prat Ambre Vermouth, Clear Creek Pear Brandy and … some other good stuff), The Sauce almost forgot to ask about a rumored “secret menu.” Does that really exist?

It doesn’t exist—yet.  We’re told the establishment plans a leather-bound cocktail menu that will contain 30+ additional cocktails to the ones on your paper menu of about 12 varieties (food and drink will be ever-changing). They won’t hand it to you when you enter, but it won’t be a secret: All you have to do is ask.

The Fiscal Agent, 11801 Ventura Blvd., Wednesdays through Saturdays 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., 818-623-8088

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