by Barnaby Hughes
When I was invited to a Wine & Magic show the prestidigitation started before the event did. Somehow, the wine element disappeared, and — presto chango — The Federal Bar in North Hollywood ended up hosting a Beer & Magic show instead.
Showcasing the talents of magician Anthony Asimov, the event began with a magic show lasting perhaps thirty minutes in a small room of the bar’s spacious upper floor. I sat in the front row, just a few feet from Asimov and participated in some of his card tricks. Yet, even from my vantage point I could not discover how he did what he did; it was an impressive show.
We were then ushered out into a private bar area and served refreshing craft beers paired with small plates. For our first course, we enjoyed spicy crab cakes paired with Golden Road Hefeweizen, a German-style beer brewed locally in LA. A tender filet of swordfish in a sherry cream sauce followed paired with Telegraph White, a Belgian-style ale from Santa Barbara. Our third course consisted of a small New York steak paired with the rich Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout (8.9 per cent ABV) from Flying Dog Brewery in Maryland. Finally, we had crisp pork belly paired with Victory HopDevil Ale (6.7 per cent ABV). The portions were tasty and filling and the beer servings generous — either eight or ten-ounce pours.
Fortified by food and drink, we sat down for more of Asimov’s funny and entertaining magic tricks. This time he burned a piece of string into small sections before putting it back together and then made a folded up dollar bill disappear from a small box and reappear inside a walnut shell. We were amazed, and I don’t think our credulity can be blamed on the influence of alcohol.
We recommend you catch Asimov’s next Beer & Magic shows at The Federal Bar on September 9 and October 14.
You can click on each photo to enlarge.