by Kim Tronic, Resident Cocktail Mistress…
The first time I meandered into Mama Shelter in Hollywood, I had no clue it was a hotel. Perhaps it was the foosball table. Or the corkboard stuffed with notes, jokes, and colorful Post-its. Or the vibrant Chinese lanterns and guitars strung along the front window. Or the lucha libre masks, which guests can purchase should the need arise.
With 5 other locations, including Paris and Istanbul, Mama Shelter epitomizes the boutique hotel chain vibe. Each of 70 rooms is furnished with a king bed, an iMac, a biography about Keith Richards, and assorted screenplays.
The lobby feels like a cool café — the antithesis of stuffy generic LA lodging.
If you don’t mind getting a neck cramp, you’ll easily get lost in the artwork displayed across the chalkboard ceiling, each paying homage to the artist’s mother.
The bar area is a grownup playground: tabletops have chess or Scrabble boards etched into their surfaces, and the squashy booths are perfect for lazily watching a football game.
Of course Mama Shelter’s cocktail menu extends the matronly theme into liquorville with TV and film-inspired monikers, like “Mr. Mom,” “Mama Mia,” and “Throw Mama From The Train.” My choice of the evening…
Y Tu Mama Tambien
1.5 ounces Vida Mezcal
.75 ounces Orgeat Almond Syrup
.75 ounces fresh lime
1 dropper Hellfire Shrub (essentially habanero bitters)
Named after the award-winning Mexican film, Y Tu Mama Tambien blasts you with an immediate two-punch of spice and smokiness, which subsides as a smooth citrus usurps your taste buds. Think of it as a limey fiery hug from your mom as she schools you in spicy spirits.