Upon entering AVIA, you will quickly forget that you're in downtown Long Beach--instead you will think you're in a trendy New York City hotel.
The lounge is located directly to the right of the hotel's front doors and is dimly lit with sleek and simple furniture. It's the bartenders and unique cocktail selection that will have you coming back.
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The bar can fill up on Friday and Saturday nights, so come during the week when the bartenders have more time to explain their specialty drinks--from pecan bourbon to tequila and pineapple.
Takota, queen of the bartenders, is the type of bartender that seems to really her craft--mixing up new cocktails by experimenting until the recipe is just right. She gave us her latest concoction--the recently coined Lady Sage. A seemingly impossible-to-recreate mixture of sage leaves, lemon, agave, and Oxley gin, the Lady Sage is light and refreshing.
Takota also has a whiskey specialty, the Blackjack. It's made with Jack Daniels and blackberries. Although I tend to avoid whiskey-based drinks, the Blackjack has me rethinking my ways.
Be sure to also check out the hotel's outdoor patio--the perfect place to sip on a drink!