We're steeping deep in the middle of Irish Coffee week. Where will you raise the small, handled glass? Tom Bergin is one famous local choice.
One might suppose that a week-long celebration of coffee, whiskey, and cream falls along about the third week of March.
But, truly, that is a week is dedicated to ales and meat pies and milkshakes of the shamrock sort. (Question: Is the flavor of shamrock truly mint, or is it more, well, shamrocky?) Leaving the hot Irish Coffee out in the cold, or so it would seem.
And yet the hot beverage most associated with the Emerald Isle does indeed have its moment in the (chilly winter) sun: the last week in January. That's a fine and frosty time to raise a glass of Irish Coffee, and we certainly have a number of not only acceptable but fairly famous choices in the Golden State.
The Buena Vista in San Francisco is not only our state's most famous entry in the Irish Coffee-making department, but it kind of rules all comers in the Irish Coffee world. Say the word "touristy" if you must, but even locals love the charming spot, where one must fight the urge to either watch the cable cars on their turnaround station (a fascinating sight) or the bartender making Irish Coffee after Irish Coffee, quickly and expertly.
Tom Bergin's is the famed Irish Coffee spot in Los Angeles, of course, occupying its Fairfax-just-south-of-Wilshire location for decades upon decades. Two interesting things of note about Tom's? One is its full name: Tom Bergin's Old Horseshoe and Thoroughbred Club.
And two? The tavern does a cold version of its celebrated hot beverage. Ask for the Sheridan Special, which contains Bushmill's Irish Whiskey and Galliano Ristretto over ice (the homemade whipped cream is still in the mix, natch).