Drink of the Week

I love the irony of a place that's called La Fiesta Supper Club only being open for weekday lunches -- and from just 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at that. My sources tell me that back in the day, La Fiesta was a real supper club (and before that, a Safeway!), but as with so many things, time has led to lamentable changes. Still, during the hours it's open, La Fiesta is a place worthy of toasting -- preferably with a Ronakaze. A broad cross-section of devoted diners, everyone from day laborers and cops to lawyers and leaders of the white-collar world, come to La Fiesta for the incomparable, spicy green chile and perhaps a single margarita or beer. And then there's my source, whose bar tab frequently exceeds the food tab and who told me of the Ronakaze ($5), a special kamikaze-like shot that has quite a few aficionados. I asked Ron, the creator of the Ronakaze and the affable son of La Fiesta's owner, what was in his namesake shot. "It's a secret," he said. "I could no more tell you what is in our green chile than tell you the ingredients in the Ronakaze." Well, I know a challenge when I taste it. Using the same skills as a professional sommelier or perfume tester, I extracted the key notes of the Ronakaze. I could immediately identify Southern Comfort as the base (it was the first alcohol to ever make me sick, and you always remember that taste -- even if you never drink the stuff again). The second ingredient, Rose's Lime Juice, didn't even require my semi-professional skills for identification. I asked Ron if I was right. "Yes," he grudgingly told me, "but that's not all. There's one other secret ingredient that I can never divulge." But I can: It's fresh lime juice. Don't try this at home, though; the Ronakaze is only worth your while when it's washing down La Fiesta's still-secret green chile.
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Nancy Levine
Contact: Nancy Levine

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