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.
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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!
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$20 Berg “Iceberg water from Canada” wants you to know that it’s “journey started over 15,000 years ago in the ancient glaciers of western Greenland.” And now that 15 thousand year journey is going to end in my piss. Cool! Berg also boasts that to obtain the water they melt icebergs in quality conditions; “This is the unmistakable taste of clean.” To me it was the unmistakable taste of WATER. Hey, you know who could use some clean Berg water? The starving African kid sucking on a United Nations ration; don’t make him wait 15 thousand years!
$16 Beverly Hills 90H20, labeled “Master Crafted Water” was autographed by the water sommelier himself! He wants you to know while ingesting this fluid that it is “silky smooth” and “perfectly balanced pure luxury.” Well call me a low class simpleton raised on hog slop! I had no idea what I was missing out on! Which apparently wasn’t that much as this tasted just like tap water; tap water in a $16 bottle. “To add to the ethos of designer water, 9OH2O is batch produced in limited editions of 10,000 individually numbered diamond-like glass bottles.” I bet this fancy bottle of water would look cool as a high class Trucker Bomb, you know for someone who delivers caviar.
$12 Vichy Catalan comes with instructions. I’m usually bad with instructions, but “serve chilled” is one I think I can follow. I know what you think I’m going to say “it tastes like water!” Well that’s where you’re wrong; this one tasted like twelve dollars of salt poured into a fancy bottle! Seriously this mineral water made us all thirsty it was so damn salty! I guess we should have read the description a bit better: This water rises from a very unique 140 Fhot spring in Girona, in the Catalan region of Spain. Ancient rulers, conquerors and healthseekers have been coming to this spring for health benefits since the Middle Ages. The TDS level in this water is simply mind-blowing.” The only thing mind blowing was the 1100 mg of sodium. I needed a Tums after drinking this.
$10 Llanllyr has been drawn from a pure natural spring for over 800 years, unlike the rest of the Earth which has had water for about 4.6 billion years. The good people at Llanllyr want you to know what: “Llanllyr is a premier bottled water that has been drawn since 1180 AD from the same springs beneath certified organic farmland in Llanllyr, Talsarn, in West Wales. Whether it can be classified as organic water or not is a moot point.” –Well it was a moot point until you brought it up! You know what organic means? It means food products that occur naturally and don’t use chemicals.. you know, like frickin’ WATER. Out of all the water’s taste tested this one tasted the most like water. Probably because it’s organic; damn upscale hippies.
$9 Saratoga sparkling spring water was tasted with high expectations as the description mentions Native Americans. You know you are getting some quality product when someone evokes tribes when talking about water: “Steeped in legend and lore, and from deep beneath the lush Adirondack foothills comes one of the few naturally carbonated springs in the country. Drinking and bathing in the waters of Saratoga Springs was regarded as medicine by the Mohawk and Iroquois Indians, who celebrated its strong healing and curative properties.” The only thing that this carbonated sparkling water was steeped in was bullshit. It tasted like carbonated water.
The menu had a range of waters including Evian. At $8 Evian is the Pabts Blue Ribbon of water; every hipster beer bar in LA has an expensive beer list but also include PBR just so you know they are still cool.
Our total bill came to $72 for five bottles of water. Do you know how much Arrowhead you could buy for $72? Seriously, how much? My brain is fuzzy from all this expensive water. I guess $20 bottles of water just aren’t meant for the likes of us. Looks like it’s time to stick our heads under the tap and lap from the municipal water supply like the animals that we are.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a bottle of water?
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