August's Bartender of the Month:
Pourer of Drinks at Clayton's Public House
541 S Spring St - DTLA
Our current favorite bartender.
If you frequent the most popular area of DTLA, you have ran into the Spring Arcade a million times. Long awaited Clayton’s Public House finally opened in June and it has been drawing massive crowds ever since. It’s due to this lady’s master drink list.
Krisi Jensen is one of a kind in this neighborhood. Having the mastermind set to have helped tons of bars around open up, their success is greatly due in part to her creativity behind any menu. Not only is she a super mixologist and a new mom, she also has a Sommelier knowledge and credit.
Clayton’s new they needed the best of the best to finally open up, and thus they hired Krisi. When we visited she was kind enough to explain her reasoning behind every drink and her knowledge of the theme along with her desire to drive the community in and forward, are the two main reasons we gave her this month’s honor.
OUR ONE ON ONE WITH KRISI:
We got to sit down with Krisi over her gin Milk Punch and Victorian era cocktails. She discussed how she’s been the mastermind behind some of LA’s most beloved drinking holes, where her creativity stems from, and her favorite bar.
HHC: Where were you born? Caldwell, Idaho
KJ: Where do you currently reside? Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles
HHC: How long have you been a bartender?
KJ: 10 years
HHC: When did you know you wanted to be a bartender?
KJ: Eleven years ago when I was doing bottle service at Bardot in Hollywood I realized I wanted to do more than move drinks fromre the bar to the customer. I love cooking and being creative, so I knew the bar would be a better fit.
HHC: What’s your favorite drink to make?
KJ: An egg white or aqua faba sour with a pretty design on the foam. Guests love it.
HHC: What’s your favorite drink to drink?
KJ: It really depends on the occasion and where I am. Wine for sure. But I’m also a big fan of amaro and fortified wines. If I drink hard alcohol it’s generally Gin, sometimes rye or an Armagnac.
HHC: What is a must have at every bar you go to/work at?
KJ: A great staff that fits the venue. If you’re asking for a must have spirit, I would say a bitter liqueur or amaro of some sort.
HHC: What is your favorite type of bar?
KJ: I’m generally a fan of dive bars.
KJ: There are no expectations, the bartenders are usually cool and if I’m lucky there’s a dart board.
HHC: Where is your favorite bar? Why?
KJ: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite bar. But if I were to go out and have a drink and some food and keep it low key...I would go to Mignon. He always provides a solid glass of wine and something nice to eat.
HHC: What kind of typical bar regular do you like?
KJ: Someone that is hardworking and just coming by on a day off or after work to say hello. Or someone who loves talking about alcohol. I love talking about spirits, wine or beer with guests along with the history behind every bottle.
HHC: Do you know any bar tricks?
KJ: I’m much too clumsy for flare lol. But I know how to casually exit a conversation and still make a guest feel important, that can be tricky 😬
HHC: How did you end up working where you are now?
KJ: A friend thought I would be a good fit.
HHC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
KJ: Running more bars!
HHC: Have you ever invented any drinks?
KJ: I think I have...but I’m guessing someone, somewhere has also done the same or similar.
HHC: Who was/is your mentor?
KJ: I can’t really say that I have one mentor. In every establishment I’ve worked in, there is someone or multiple people that have taught me important things about this industry.
HHC: Where do you go for Happy Hour?
KJ: Well, we have a one-year old...so we stick close to home, which is Franklin Village...so it’s either La Poubelle or Franklin & Co.
HHC: What do you think it takes to be a good bartender?
KJ: Someone who can multitask happily and who also cares about the quality of beverages ;)
HHC: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the job?
KJ: Oh wow. I feel like so many things have happened to me, and now that I’m asked, I am blanking. I got a $2000 cash tip from a customer once (he was a poker player out with some famous ladies)...that was pretty crazy...and that has never happened again, unfortunately.