50 Shades of Prank

Botanavista Cocktail Menu: La Ventura

            Three years ago Prank stormed onto the scene with a concept never before seen in LA: The first ever walk up bar. The concept quickly grew in popularity as more people kept coming to visit and try all the wildly cool drinks of Prank. With people liking the drinks eventually they started becoming hungry and the bar began to take on another dimension as a restaurant priding itself on fantastic delicious yet organic foods almost entirely made from scratch. The quality and taste kept bringing people back through the doors. With the fan base growing, the drinks and creations kept coming and as more people were ordering food, the walk up bar evolved to a full on restaurant and in very rapidly Prank evolved catering to those to would care to walk up or dine in.

             The warm California nights call for the patio to be full of people and chatter. You see friends embracing friends as they greet each other, conversations striking up at the bar, the constant mixing and mingling of people, and the absolutely fantastic drinks that are concocted. It’s hard not to get lost in the plethora and allure as each drink is eye catching, yet dangerously strong! As the liquor begins to creep up on you, your curiosity starts to burn thinking what other beautifully delicious sinfully creations can they come out with next. There’s something for everyone’s flavor at Prank, but perhaps what’s really interesting is the Botanavista section of the drink menu. The Botanavista cocktail selection is aesthetically eye catching combined with another surprise: the inclusion of cannabis common infused terpenes. I couldn’t help but to try all of the drinks from this menu and enjoyed every last one of them. I had a chance to meet and sit down with Jamie who is the Managing Operator to fully discover the inspiration and story behind Prank.

Jamie on the passion and the name “Prank”

            “My parents had six kids like in the movie The Sound of Music and we were all musicians so everyone one of us moved to LA to pursue our dreams. We all grew up in Reno Nevada to a mom who would always juice, so we were all brought up to be very health conscious. While every one of our partners has a different reason why they chose the name Prank, for me it goes back to when I was my Grandfathers caretaker and personal cook for nine years. He was so set in his ways that I had to trick him like a two year old to eat the good food that he needed to eat hence the prank {behind the name},”

            She added, “For those nine years, as someone who really studied the food industry with me being his caretaker and turning his backyard into a full Non GMO grown 100% organic garden and making everything from scratch, I could miraculously see him begin to start feeling better. He could think clearer and was able to absorb more water because he was getting the right mixtures so in a lot of ways he became my own science project. I never knew I was going to eventually wind up in the food industry even the bar industry, but here we are.”

            While Jamie didn’t go to culinary arts school, the time she spent cooking for her grandfather and often times for her whole family for many of those years, she became very passionate about health and nutrition. She saw both the positive effects and the negative effects food can have on people and it really emboldened her as she grew as a person becoming even more passionate for health and nutrition which spills into the quality of food and ingredients they select that goes into each and every dish.

            “I would say the other half of my passion behind Prank is the fact that we really found an amazing chef in Ricardo Sanchez who every week we go to the Farmers Market to make sure we get the highest quality of food and beverage as everything we make here is from scratch excluding the breads. Our cocktails are freshly squeezed and our goal is getting the most quality food and beverage that we can for everyone here while still maintaining great happy hour prices and deals,” Jamie stated.

             The people kept coming and staying as they were making Prank apart of their nightlife plans so another layer was added to the restaurant as live music was brought in. Live music at Prank is Thursday to Sunday, but regardless whenever you walk in here there is always something going on. Prank has a welcoming vibe to everyone here and attracts all types of people. Even dogs are welcome here (as long as their people friendly of course)

Jamie on the community vibe and the popular foods of Prank

            Prank was five years in the making with it’s concept, flavor, vibe, and of course the delicious drinks. The location was picked on purpose. Ownership wanted to pick a place to fully incorporate its walk up bar design and for that to happen, a corner location had to be selected. Located on the corner of Hope and 11th, Prank sits in the heart of South Park and is footsteps away from the Staples Center and LA Live. The location has really made Prank a great stop over destination

             In the short time Prank has opened, it has won over the hearts of many of the locals in South Park. The locals who frequent here along with other guests and tourists who happen to stop over at the bar make for a unique blend of all walks of life with all very different experiences, which makes the ambience and vibe something that embodies the vision behind why this particular location was where they wanted to open Prank. Jamie credits the South Park community for helping to cultivate a family oriented vibe that everyone who visits the restaurant can feel. From the bartenders, hosts, waiters, and even the Prank Grand Ambassador Lucky, the whole staff plays apart of making everyone feel welcome here. Prank’s popularity in LA has grown since day one with many mentions in local press and has recently been voted as one of Downtown LA’s best spots for Happy Hour.

            “Our happy hour became really so famous because of the hours. It used to be 4:20 because of Botanavista, but it became so popular that we moved it up to 2:40 and stops at 702. Hint 702 being Reno’s first area code paying homage to where we came from so we took those numbers and jumbled them up for our night happy hour cap which goes from 9:40 to 10:47 and those times have become very popular with our visitors since we have extended happy hours.”

            For the first time customer to try Jamie recommends going straight to the happy hour menu because of the variety it has to offer, especially the vegan variations that are offered that are so flavorful and delicious that it tricks you into believing your eating real meat. The Spicy Organic Wings that also have a sweet and spicy option to them are popular. along with the Veggie Slidersettes made with Cauliflower that trick you into thinking you brain into thinking that you’re eating chicken. The tacos are also popular as there are three different options from Fillet Mignon, to shrimp along with a veggie option. The Vegan Nachos are extremely popular as people discover how flavorful the taste is. Vegan eats without it totally feel like you’re eating something that’s vegan.

            Prank does pride itself behind Chef Ricardo Sanchez meat driven entrée items that Jamie deems are epic in relation to flavor, taste, and delicacy behind the preparation of those dishes with meats that are strictly organic and free of any antibiotics. They have a seasonal as menu and their food and drink reflect that as well. It keeps the options for every time of the year to keep things interesting. They celebrate every holiday at Prank and even make some up along the way and customize menu themes and drink names behind it. Prank is also involved in the community with certain food and drink item proceeds donated to local charities and organizations.

            “We don’t re advertise it too much about our organic foods and all the healthy ingredients hence the Prank there as well. The Prank is that you’re eating healthy and you don’t even know it,” Jamie said.  The subtle nuances and the themes and people all behind Prank are what make it a great place to go for a good time.

Belladonna Drink
Bontanavista Menu: Silly Wabbit

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