Mixologist: Vivian Loh of Nida's Thai on High
Neighborhood: Short North
Hometown: New York
Years behind the bar: 4
How did you get into bartending?
I started in New York. I partied a lot and drank a lot, so I figured why not go behind the scenes and try it out? I worked at a really small lounge and it was always really packed. It was just slinging drinks - really fast-paced, really high volume.
At Nida's, this is more of a creative outlet.
Why did you move to Columbus?
It was hard to concentrate on school in New York because of all the drinking and dancing. Ohio State is a great school, so I came here to be with my brother and go back to school.
Have you traveled anywhere else?
I've lived in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Connecticut and New York. I also did a stint in the Bay Area.
I still do a lot of traveling. I spent some time in New Orleans and I just got back from the Bahamas. They are all near the water, similar to the coasts I grew up on.
What's it like being landlocked here?
The first eight months were hard. But I'm in a great neighborhood and I've met a lot of really great people. People are really friendly here.
Do your travels influence the drink menu here?
A lot of the menu is inspired by Asian flavors, but I also try to make it accessible to the palate. We also use a lot of ginger in our drinks since it's such an integral part of Asian cooking.
Where do you get a drink?
I go everywhere - Bodega, Mac's, Bernard's, Short North Tavern. I'm obsessed with chicken wings, so I love Roosters.
What do you drink?
I love brown ales, Scottish ales, Irish ales. I think it's absurd that we have this big-d--- contest over who can put the most hops in their ales.
In terms of wines, I love a good sauvignon blanc from Marlboro, New Zealand. We just got one on our menu and I love it. It's what I go straight to on a nice summer night.
If you could have a drink with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Anthony Bourdain. We could just talk about food and drink a lot and smoke a lot of cigarettes.
Is there a Columbus bartender you'd like to meet in Mixologist? E-mail email@example.com