Tastemakers 2009 Cedd Moses
by Jod Kaftan / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Peden + Munk
Moses has always known our city has a heart and soul. As Los Angeles nightlife impresario, he has transformed the historic downtown district into a vital community, sparing us from the touristy filigree that had plagued the city with its slew of velvet ropes, celebutantes and self-conscious clichés.
The son of venerable abstract expressionist painter Ed Moses, he blazed his own trail and made a bundle in financial management early in his career. But it wasn’t until 1996, when Moses launched the Westside martini lounge Liquid Kitty, that he had a satori moment. Over the past 13 years, he has opened a string of watering holes—from the Golden Gopher and Seven Grand to the Varnish and the Doheny. But Moses’ bars obsess over the details— instead of a plain maraschino in your Manhattan, you’ll find a homemade brandied cherry. For his latest endeavor, Las Perlas (opening as yet undisclosed), he traveled to Mexico to taste rare mescals in Zapotec villages.
For Seven Grand, Moses made a similar trip to Scotland and Kentucky, searching for the brio that comes with a great whiskey bar. He has brought in mixology superstars Sasha Petraske and Vincenzo Marianella to conceive of cocktails that now rival the artistry of the town’s top chefs. For Moses knows, as 21st-century L.A. acknowledges the limits of sprawl and accepts going vertical, it will need a center—and he is set on supplying the soul.