La Social is the new boozy project from the Mosto Group. If you know anything about this syndicate of bar and restaurant movers and shakers, it’s probably that they pretty much own Sanlitun with places like Moka Bros, Modo, Mosto, and now La Social. These spots have long been a destination for food and drink enthusiasts in Chaoyang and beyond, so we just had to give this new bar a try during their soft-opening.
The digs sit directly behind Mosto and are delightfully vibrant, with a mix of South American (Colombian) and Chinese flair, that will whisk you away to a drug deal gone awry in a Cartagena dive bar or an underground mahjong parlor. Confetti is strewn about the floor, red and green lights illuminate cubbies filled with communist and Catholic regalia. It is a sight to see, and instantly achieves that desired fiesta vibe, without getting too queso.
We believe the focus of this establishment is to attract the after-work crowd, as they are not only providing some intoxicating cocktails, but also a variety of arepas (RMB 42-48) so that La Social may become a one-stop source for every kind of sustenance you could possibly desire. We have yet to try these, but from what we saw being dropped off at tables around the bar, they looked enticing to say the least.
We were, however, here for the cocktails. We started off with the Ginger Blasphemy (RMB 50), which was indeed delicious enough to have us shouting expletives to all which is holy. It was a fierce combo of rum, Campari, and ginger making it a very summer-friendly sipper that will no doubt soon find favor amongst chic cocktail hounds frequenting this venture.
We also had the Cotuma Mojito (RMB 88), which was pleasant enough and featured all of the necessary ingredients to make an enjoyable mojito variation, but was raised up a notch by the addition of passion fruit. It was more sour than your average mojito, so we puckered up and went to town on this little refreshing devil.
Finally, we ordered the El Viejo Fashion (RMB 68), essentially a rum-based old fashion that gives birth to a Pablo Escobar-esque fur covering over your entire body plus a mustache to complete the look. Strong but flavorful, this one's a worthy option for any of you rum rascals out there.
The cocktails were creative and no-thrills, which is not necessarily a bad thing as evinced by the more than thrilled clientele. Another enticing element of La Social are the relatively on-point prices compared to what you might find at other Nali Patio bars, from which this place will share a lot of clientele due to their hip blend of vibe and quality – the signature of these Mosto-related venues. However, if we were to have one request: we beg of you, please add salchipapa to the menu!
3/F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Changping District (5208 6030)
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Photos: Kipp Whittaker
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