Creative infusions, quality spirits, and a classic ambience in Conejo Valley
Oak and Iron, which claims to be Thousand Oaks’ first “craft” cocktail bar as of its April 4 opening date, is another step forward in the revitalization plan of the city’s downtown. Sitting between a salon and a barbecue restaurant, the small bar is poised to be Conejo Valley’s destination watering hole thanks to the cocktail menu designed by bartender Paul Jones. A protégé of Matthew Biancaniello from The Library Bar and Mon-Li days, Paul brings the same style of produce-based cocktails, plus made-in-scratch infusions and syrups.
Oak and Iron was started by a trio which includes brothers Jared and Jason Logan as well as attorney Andrew Pletcher, who had most recently served as a Thousand Oaks planning commissioner. Jared Logan, who owns a landscape and hardscape business, oversaw the construction of the bar. Meanwhile his brother Jason, who worked as a garden manager for Oxnard Union High School District’s farm-to-school program, is in charge of sourcing local produce to be used in the bar’s various drinks.
In the main bar, Oak and Iron offers about a dozen classic cocktails and their variations, from a Flor de Cana daiquiri to a Bees Knees made with locally sourced honey. Cocktail mavens who have flocked to the bar since its opening are treated to a smoke show with The Smokey Edward, an Old Fashioned smoked with wood chips. A smaller offering of specialty cocktails like Curious George is made with banana-infused whiskey, lemon juice, and IPA syrup offer a glimpse of what is offered at the more exclusive downstairs speakeasy, named Oak and Iron: Reserve.
Reserve offers three seatings every two hours from 4 to 10 p.m., and reservations are highly recommended. They accept walk-ins depending on availability but note that seating is strictly on the two-hour mark. The Reserve experience is meant to be a more intimate experience with Jones, and offers a small menu that rotates every few weeks.
The latest Suntory-focused menu includes a sipper made with ramen-infused Hibiki whiskey, sesame syrup, and seaweed bitters. To prepare the drink, Paul worked with a local ramen shop to create an ultra-concentrated shoyu tonkotsu broth. While the Reserve is small, Jones is happy to make cocktails beyond the menu and has a variety of infusions he’s working on. He may offer a Negroni made with Cocchi vermouth amaro infused with oolong tea, or a more adventurous Cheese Danish in a Glass that uses Dolin Blanc infused with parmesan cheese.
Oak and Iron is open Wednesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. and on Sunday beginning at noon. Oak and Iron: Reserve is open from Thursday to Sunday.
Oak and Iron. 2955 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
“Talented LA Bartender Opens Ambitious New Cocktail Spot in Thousand Oaks.” Eater LA – All. https://la.eater.com/2019/4/16/18410939/oak-and-iron-craft-cocktail-bar-thousand-oaks.