Los Angeles is one of those towns that people either love or hate. Many love it because it has a vast amount of things to experience and it’s near the ocean. While many have lamented that the rumbling of the San Andreas Fault is merely the gates of hell trying to open in an attempt to swallow LA’s Organic Juice Cleanse Bars and “Pampered Pooch Hotels.” And we’d like to say we love the town, but it’s hard when things like this exist.
Ray’s and Stark Bar located inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has created a 23 page water menu, complete with a “Water Sommelier” on staff. (A Sommelier is fancy talk for a wine expert who helps you pair the “correct” wine selection with your meal.) Martin Riese is America’s first and only Water Sommelier and drinks water professionally, even writing a book about the subject. This is it, this is the true sign that we as a society have… holy crap I just used the words “Water Sommelier” in a sentence.
OK, OK, who knows? Maybe some waters DO taste better than other H20 in a bottle. But what kind of idiots would willfully pay $20 for a bottle of water to find out!? Idiots with a company credit card! To be fair and sort of balanced, The Break.com Staff headed over to LACMA’s Stark Bar to see if a $20 bottle of water really does taste better… than a $8 bottle of water.. or the FREE water that you can get in YOUR OWN GOD DAMN HOUSE. Watch our taste test here and read below for in depth water analysis.
We sat down at the hip outdoor bar that is around the corner from an art instillation of a giant boulder hovering above a walkway. We were quickly presented with a glorious, leather-bound menu. The menu breaks down the waters by four features; Smooth, Salty, Sweet and Complex… whatever the hell that means. “Do you have the one available that’s full salty, full complexity?” –“You mean the Vitchy Catalan?” the waitress replied. “YES!” Promote her to Head Sommelier! She really knows her waters! We selected five bottles based on how ridiculous their descriptions sounded with crap like:
“This water of volcanic origin begins its life in the south of Italy. It takes ten years for the water to pass slowly through the underground rock and uncontaminated depths of this source. As it does, Ferrarelle water encounters the natural gas of an ancient and now extinct volcano gaining its effervescence…”
Our only conclusion from that description is that this is why “red states” hate LA. Yet we took a breath and plunged over the glacial mountain of pure, aqua snobbery.
Our fine bottles were even presented in an ice bucket like it was Dom Pérignon! Happy New Year!