#InsideTheBottleShop: Vendome Liquors in Toluca Lake
Who said it’s hard to find great craft beer in the Valley?? On the corner of Riverside and Cahuenga in Toluca Lake, Vendome Liquors has been slinging craft beer since before it was popular, and let me tell you, they’re not slowing down. Nope, not one bit.
In addition to the rows upon rows of fine wine and spirits, Vendome has a masterfully curated selection of beers from around the world. Yup, that means in addition to the rare Belgian, German, and British beers on the shelves, they’ve got a bunch of locally brewed nectars from some of California’s best breweries.
For example, on my most recent visit, Vendome got ahold of a couple cases of Tongue Tickles from Noble Ale Works, a small batch Double IPA that won last year’s inaugural Los Angeles IPA Festival. Not only is this beer almost impossible to find in LA, it’s rare to even find bottles for sale outside of the Anaheim-based brewery itself.
Vendome also has a small tasting bar in the back, where they regularly hold beer and wine tastings so you can try before you buy (check out their tasting calendar here). Sometimes when a beverage retailer holds tastings, it’s to push some beer that their distributor is trying to promote. But at Vendome, the staff is very highly educated and makes sure to feature awesome beers that will actually open your mind and palate and inspire you to purchase a bottle or two of your own. Basically, their beer tastings on Saturdays from 2-5pm and Sundays from 12-5pm are two events you’ll want to put into your calendar.
And here’s a little insider’s tip. Follow Vendome on Instagram to stay up to date on their latest arrivals. A lot of their beers go super quick, so if you see something new that you want, you’d better head to the store that day if you want a chance at picking it up. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for on the shelves or in the cooler, ask one their staff members. They’ve probably got your special beer sitting in the back, ready for you to pick up by request only.
No matter what part of LA you live in, keep Vendome Toluca Lake on your watch list. You never know when they’ll get that hard-to-find white whale in stock. Trust me, it’s worth braving the 101 traffic to get it.