If you're looking for cocktail perfection, every detail is critical. Start with the ice – really. "This is a ridiculous thing to say," musician James Iha tells 'Men's Journal,' "but the ice at Angel's Share is great. Their bourbon on the rocks looks like a minimalist work of art."
Iha, the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist, has lived in New York's East Village for over a decade. He's a regular at Angel's Share, a speakeasy-style hideaway located behind an unmarked door inside Village Yokocho, an East Village Japanese restaurant in the area known historically as Little Tokyo.
The guitarist typically stops by the bar with a couple of friends for a drink before dinner, around 6:30. With gentrification, Little Tokyo has lost some of its character, he says. But the neighborhood still has the St. Mark's Bookshop, and Iha recommends Panya Bakery, which is "great for coffee and Japanese-style baked goods."
Iha appreciates the fact that the plush, wood-paneled Angel's Share maintains strict rules: no parties of more than four, and you can't stand around waiting if there aren't any available seats. These stipulations make the bar an ideal setting for intimate conversation, he says. "The atmosphere is handsome and understated, and the cocktails are curated by season and always imaginative." The bar snacks – sashimi, Japanese sausage – are similarly thoughtful, and the elegance is further enhanced by the formal attire of the bartenders and the impressive mural that angles over the bar. It all adds up to this well-traveled performer's favorite bar – not just in his neighborhood, but "possibly the world!" [Angel's Share, 8 Stuyvesant St., New York; 212-777-5415]