El El Bean at Two 40 South, Our Drink of the Week

elelbean.jpg
Dave Lieberman

Brea, you've got a master mixologist hiding in your downtown.

Yes, Two 40 South is a wine bar with a complex, self-service vacuum wine delivery system. Yes, most people are more interested in the barrel of Tobin James than cocktails. But it's not all wine, and there's a bunch of shockingly good Italian-inspired snacks--the pizza with San Daniele prosciutto and a fried egg is as good as most snack bars and pizzerias in Italy. The offerings in general are more Brescia than Brea, but that person in front of the imposing wine barrels, Felicia Chavez, knows how to mix one hell of a cocktail.

For example, everybody loves hot chocolate. Everybody especially loves spiked hot chocolate. The problem is, it's been eighty degrees out, and nobody loves hot chocolate when it's warm enough for shorts.

Enter the El El Bean, a cold, frothy take on an iced mocha, except fortified--the Italians would say corretto--with mezcal, which is to tequila as Islay scotch is to Highland. It's got espresso, Mexican chocolate, coffee liqueur, Baileys, and a couple of espresso beans floated on top of the foam.

It goes down easily--too easily--like a sweet cup of hot chocolate. Drink a couple of them, however, and you'll stand up, gravity will assert its rightful position in the universe, and you'll discover that just because the mezcal is muted does not mean it's less alcoholic.

Skip dessert--no offense to the pastry chef--and drink your sweet instead.

Two 40 South, 240 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 912-1053; two40south.com.

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