SpiritedLA Visits The Riddler (Alternate Title: SpiritedLA Refused To Leave The Riddler)

As a little girl, it was hard to beat a tea party. We’d take out our miniature silver tea set,  seat our stuffed animals at the vacant chairs, badly apply too much of our mother’s makeup, and fill the tea pots with grape soda. We felt extremely dignified.

At the risk of sounding whimsical, The Riddler feels like the adult version of exactly that. Decadent, playful, special, and the perfect place to live dangerously with your most entertaining friends.

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What to drink: Since the name “The Riddler” comes from the champagne making process of riddling, you’ve got to get at least one flute of something sparkling. It’s a champagne bar, so don’t be weird.

As to their selection, they’ve got a well-curated and relatively limited number of wines (including many glasses that won’t break the bank) which is nice for champagne novices like me who hope that someone of greater understanding has made their decisions for them. However, flavor profile and price point aren’t the only things to consider at The Riddler when it comes to what to order. Ritual comes into play as well; if you’re feeling DGAF, get the chambong (a champagne bong, duh), the Joan (a glass filled to the brim with their cheap house wine), or a bump and a shot (a “bump” of caviar with a shot of anything from Miller High Life to Ruinart Blanc de Blancs).

Our bodies are ready.

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What to eat: Now I’m a fancy garbage person, so show me a high-low pairing and I am HERE FOR IT (if you haven’t tried your well-crafted gin martini with a Crunchwrap Supreme, IMO, you haven’t lived). While it would be a stretch to call anything about The Riddler garbage per se, they certainly understand that not taking themselves too seriously makes us enjoy the good things that much more. So they serve their caviar with Lay’s potato chips, their creme fraiche and smoked fish with tater tot waffles, and their champagne with popcorn.

 

I recommend their creatively presented Grand Marnier and dark chocolate pot de crème as a satisfying way to finish off your experience.

SpiritedLA visits The Riddler

Who to go with: Your girlfriends. Now, I am DEFINITELY not a “woohoo #girlsnight #roseallday” type, but you don’t have to be a die-hard squad member to have fun with your best female friends here. I defy you to look at The Riddler’s champagne-filled, caviar-and-potato chips-laden, and chambong-filled Instagram without tagging at least one friend. From their Instagram to the time you stumble out, The Riddler feels genuinely appealing to women without feeling pandering. Probably because it’s run by women, invested in by women, and largely staffed by women— they get it. So wear something you love, take endless pictures, and go do some quality bonding.

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What to snap: In addition to the chambong, bump-and-shot, pot-de-creme, and caviar-laden tater tot waffles, the space itself and the tableware are highly Insta-worthy. The warm walls, small fancifully-labeled tables, and wide windows feel effortless, intimate, and French. The handcrafted coupés, ornate champagne buckets, and coruscating caviar accessories should all practically come with a warning label (e.g., “may induce sudden swooning”). It’s worth the risk.

spiritedla riddler

When to go: Unshockingly, this place is POPULAR. So don’t try to pop in when it’s easy or responsible for you to do so; take off early from work and get in before the rush. I showed up as soon as they opened at 4 PM on a Tuesday and it was lovely.

Where: 528 LAGUNA STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

 

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