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Pork and Pints Just Right
By Gloria Tai (Oct 9, 2009)
It’s not your typical creaky, dark pub where the lads come to brood. The Marina’s The Tipsy Pig, where the noise level is ear-splitting, is bursting at the seams with beautiful people -- guests and staff alike. What else would be expected of a watering hole and gastropub from the Vintage 415 team (Umami, Mamacita, Blue Barn) who have mastered a simple formula: great drinks and surprisingly good food in a lively atmosphere. More
By Gloria Tai (Jun 5, 2007)
The U-shaped bar and ballpark-chic location creates a see and be-seen vibe at this wine bar and lounge, but the concept certainly attracts curious wine appreciators as well. With its group-friendly lounge setting, District has also become a designated spot for many a girls' night. The enticing wine flights, of which there are several, are nicely accompanied by a plentiful variety of small plates, including cheeses, salumis, and pizzettas. More
By Gloria Tai (Jun 5, 2007)
In the now-fashionable-yet-still-sketchy Loin locale, Olive was one of the first swanky cocktail bars to brave the neighborhood. Though further gentrification has brought brighter, shinier bars to the area, Olive is still going strong with its short but solid drink list and choice small plates including calamari with chipotle aioli and pizzas to soak up that second or third martini with goat cheese-stuffed olives. Acquired in January 2007 by the fellows who own Rickshaw Stop, Olive maintains a comfortable vibe and a rotating art collection. More
1920s Glam Done Two Ways
By genevieve robertson (Oct 19, 2006)
There’s been a buzz around the city lately. Two new bars are attempting to bring back the days of passwords, secret entrances, and enticing cocktails. There have always been bars in the city that tout their speakeasy history, like Café du Nord and the Empire Plush Room, but their pasts seem to be just that -- history. Both Bourbon and Branch and Slide have set out to transport you to an era where flappers held court and the cocktail was king. More
Keep quiet. Speak easy.
By genevieve robertson (Sep 21, 2006)
In true speakeasy fashion, the buzz was moving and rumors were being whispered, but no one knew quite what to expect before Slide's opening last weekend. That is except for the slide -- everyone seemed to know about the unique entrance that is also the namesake for San Francisco’s newest addition to the speakeasy trend. More
Chic Sushi and Whiskey Lounge where SOMA meets the Mission
By LaWand Mathern (May 19, 2006)
Nihon, a chic, understated little Japanese restaurant/whiskey lounge, opened quietly in early 2006 on a nondescript corner of Folsom and 14th, causing quite the buzz in the Mission and surrounding neighborhoods. The Dajani group, also owners of Tsunami Sushi, Bar 821, and Café Abir, have consistently added to the invigoration of the Divisadero strip with their hip, affordable operations. Word on the street is that their latest venture, Nihon, does much the same for its location. Despite the presence of Chez Spencer bistro, the area is known mainly for housing Rainbow Grocery and a handful of big-box retailers beneath a dominating freeway. More
Get Your Green On
By Michelle Chan (Mar 10, 2006)
Green beer is only served once a year (thankfully), and this St. Paddy's Day, many of San Francisco's 120-odd Irish pubs will dispense the verdant brew. But for those wishing to stimulate their inner -- or outer -- Irishness year round, the following establishments offer the real McCoy. More
Pull Up a Stool
By genevieve robertson (May 6, 2005)
Dining at the bar is my favorite way to experience a restaurant, and I'm amazed at how many people don't think of it, or shun the idea when they show up sans reservation. Often it's the only way to dine spontaneously at many of the city's best restaurants. And while I've had many truly elegant dinners atop a bar stool, there's often a casualness that makes you feel more a part of the action. More
By joe jarrell (Jan 9, 2005)
Tall plants and warm hues in Solstice's large main room won't diffuse its din, even early on a Monday night. But it's a joyous noise, with the clatter and chatter amongst tables of friends sparking an energetic atmosphere matched by exceptional dishes that represent the cultural melange of San Francisco's flavorful neighborhoods. After culinary school and a stint at Postrio, chef Jay Hotch steps up and proves his chops with nearly every dish on this small plates menu by selecting textural contrasts that work wonders along your tongue. More
By Gloria Tai (Jan 5, 2005)
What to do when your reliable cosmo or gin and tonic just aren't doing it for you anymore? Latch onto the latest trend- saké. Brewed like beer, but served like wine, saké has been a popular spirit in Japan for hundreds of years, but has only recently taken this culture-fusion-happy city by storm as the hip new drink. And restaurants featuring saké bars are popping up everywhere. More
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