If you have dined with us before, you may have noticed a handsome silver-haired bartender behind our bar. We’re proud to announce that our very own Iluggy Recinos, has stepped into the position of Bestia Bar Manager.
What is a day in the life of Iluggy entail?
Every day is different for me! I am extremely hyper in the mornings, I like to get up and do some cleaning and organizing in my apartment. Also, I will catch up with some reading, either news or food & drink coverage from the city. Mornings on a day when I work always fly by. I like to get to Bestia early and work on some projects – testing out recipes or new cocktails for upcoming menus. That is one of the “fun” parts of working in a culinary driven bar. It’s harder to pin down what I do on days that I am off. I love being in the water – water polo and surfing have a special place in my heart – especially water polo. I’m born and raised in the city of LA, so all my family is fairly close to me and visiting them is always a plus. Especially my little eight-year-old niece Jazlyn, she’s the raddest person I know, she’s my little/big homey.
What is your favorite alcohol to work with?
I love using Mezcal. It packs so much flavor in a very small pour. The smokey aroma is beautiful and there are savory elements which enhance even simple classic cocktails.
What is your favorite ingredient?
This is a tough one! I love using fresh pineapple juice – it has a great acidity and subtle sweetness.
What is your favorite bar in LA besides Bestia?
I have several bars I like to frequent, be it after a long night at work or going to a bar on a night off with friends. Everson Royce Bar is a great bar in the Arts District. Their bar food and cocktails are never just okay; they are always on point. The Normandie Club in Koreatown, small and well executed bar all around, from ambiance to the drinks. It’s always a good time inside that joint. If I am feeling like a dive bar setting, the HMS Bounty is also a good pick in K-town – they have a Coors banquet and ancient aged bourbon.
Have you always had silver hair?
I have been asked this question almost every day of my life! I’ve been going “silver” since I was 15 – it started slow, but in the last three years, it has really picked up on the silver. I always joke with Chef Ori that ever since we started working together he is the main reason for my grey hair.
What is your go-to dish at Bestia?
Pan-roasted chicken gizzards are my go to dish here at Bestia, that dish is packed with flavor – the balance of umami is spot on. Roasted beets, Belgium endive, shaved aged goat cheese, and of course the confit duck fat gizzards create an amazing dish that is a classic here at Bestia.
What was your best day off ever?
One morning, I woke up knowing I had two consecutive days off. My buddy called me and told me he had an extra plane ticket to San Francisco and the hotel was covered – the flight was around 2pm. So, I cancelled all my plans and headed to LAX. We ate amazing food, hit some great cocktails bars, and even scored tickets to see the Dodgers vs. Giants. Those spur of the moment trips are always the best, I hope he hits me up again soon.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Tough one – it always depends what mood I’m in, but I do like a good Mai Tai with a little French twist to it.
1.5oz. Rhum Agricole
1oz. Lime Juice
3/4oz. Orgeat Syrup
1/2oz. Banana liqueur
This is a soft shaken cocktail, finished off with grated cinnamon and a mint sprig, served over crushed ice.