LOS ANGELES — One pleasingly bitter, gently botanical, sort-of purple nonalcoholic cocktail in, and I was just happy to be caught in the gravitational pull of the Ruby Fruit.
What could be better on a rainy weeknight than chatting with friends and strangers squished at the bar, snacking on fried gigante beans and ripping apart floppy slices of mortadella drizzled with hot honey?
The crowd, the food, the playlist, the efficiency and warmth of the staff — a couple of hours later, when my group started to wind things down and put on their coats, I almost resisted leaving.
Surely we could get one more round of drinks and hot dogs, or at least order some crispy-bottomed canelés. Surely we could hang out here forever, or at least until 10 p.m., when they closed.