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Friday, August 30, 2013

La Pinata at Padrecito in San Francisco

Whenever I go to Padrecito in Cole Valley, I know I am going to enjoy my evening cocktails. It usually starts with the smoky La Copa Verde and ends with a churro paired with a La Arma. But today I decided to spice it up a bit with La Pinata. It's the perfect balance of sweet heat with a wonderful light rosemary aroma as you take each sip. Despite the kick of heat from the jalapeno this cocktail is difficult to drink slowly. It's definitely an addictive drink that's hard to stop at one. I think the next party I organize, I will definitely have to buy a pinata and serve my version of this drink perhaps with a grilled pineapple garnish...

The Drink - La Pinata, $9
Reposado tequila, jalapeno, pineapple, rosemary, lime

The Place - Padrecito
San Francisco, Cole Valley
Mexican restaurant
Dinner Tuesday - Saturday, full bar
http://www.padrecitosf.com/

Other Padrecito Drinks
La Copa Verde
La Arma

Knot Hole at Roka Akor in San Francisco

By the time dessert rolled around at Roka Akor, I just asked the server to bring anything that would pair well with the dessert we ordered (warm chocolate cake and Roka pop rocks). The server surprised me with the Knot Hole. It was definitely in my eyes the perfect pairing. With the Roka pop rocks and this ice cream soda like cocktail, I felt like a little kid all over again. The perfect ending to an exceptional meal that started off the nursery rhyme and cocktail Little Jack Horner.

I wish I could return to Roka Akor to enjoy some of the other cocktails that were on the menu at the time (Prickly Heat, Crimson Tide and the Desert Rose). But alas, those cocktails are all gone with the recent change at the bar. I'll need to go back soon to see what's new on the menu.

The Drink - Knot Hole, $15
Bulleit Rye, Black Walnut Liqueur, Yellow Chartreuse, cream and soda

The Place - Roka Akor
San Francisco, Jackson Square
Japanese Restaurant
Daily lunch and dinner, full bar
http://www.rokaakor.com/locations/san-francisco/

Other Roka Akor Drinks
Jack Horner
Golden Seal

Other picture from the visit
Roka Pop Rocks Dessert

Warm Chocolate Cake Dessert

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Golden Seal at Roka Akor in San Francisco


The tequila in the Golden Seal cocktail at Roka Akor sealed the deal for my next cocktail order. By that point, after the many laughs during my first cocktail Jack Horner, it didn't matter there were sweet syrup and agave ingredients. Fortunately, the mild acidity in the champagne vinegar counteracts the sweet ingredients. The beautiful golden hue adds to the character of this complex cocktail. Everything about this cocktail including the stemware added to the table conversation.

The Drink - Golden Seal, $14
Sino Reposado Tequila, nutty sherry, syrup made from golden raisins, white wine sweetened with agave nectar, champagne vinegar

The Place - Roka Akor
San Francisco, Jackson Square
Japanese Restaurant
Daily lunch and dinner, full bar
http://www.rokaakor.com/locations/san-francisco/

Other Roka Akor Drinks
Jack Horner

Other pictures from the visit
 Crispy Brussel Sprouts, $7.50

Heavenly Robata Grilled Scallops, $14

One of the steaks...perfectly grilled on the robata

Jack Horner at Roka Akor in San Francisco

I just read that there's been a changing of the guard at the bar at Roka Akor in San Francisco. I had a few memorable drinks there earlier in the summer which were scheduled next month to post. These next few cocktails are no longer available but worth sharing anyways. Here's my ode to the Daniel Hyatt days at Roka Akor.

I'm usually not a fan of going to Asian restaurants for their cocktails. I've found that many Asian restaurants have cocktail programs that are on the sweet and fruity side. Lychee cocktails anyone? When I first perused the Roka Akor menu and saw the ingredients plum puree, golden raisin syrup and honey, I had a tough time deciding what to drink. I asked the server for some help. Given that my only requirement for a cocktail is that it isn't sweet, the server came back and suggested the Jack Horner with the plum puree. Visions of the nursery rhyme with a Christmas pie and a thumb with a sweet plum came to mind. So while I wondered again if it was going to be sweet, I went ahead an ordered it anyways. I am so glad I did. Each ingredient's flavor came through with each sip. Forget the Christmas pie, this cocktail rocks. My fellow researchers and I tried to come up with just as memorable rhyme for this drink. We did have a few laughs but enjoyed too many cocktails to remember them the next day.

The Drink - Jack Horner, $15
Single Malt Whiskey, seaweed, ginger, plum puree, rose water

The Place - Roka Akor
San Francisco, Jackson Square
Japanese Restaurant
Daily lunch and dinner, full bar
http://www.rokaakor.com/locations/san-francisco/

Other pictures from the visit
Delicious Tuna Tataki, $17

Perfectly spiced Waygu Beef and Kimchi Dumplings, $10

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

March Madness at Ssiso in San Francisco

I have to admit, I'd been to the Ssisso location when it was Denny's. I am impressed at how the space has been transformed. After my first Pomegranate Mint soju cocktail, I asked the bartender for something not as sweet. He surprised me with the March Madness that he had been working on for the menu. It was smack in the middle of the NCAA tournament when I went there, hence his inspiration. I'm not a big fan of orange juice in my cocktails, but this drink definitely delivered on not being sweet! It's the perfect cocktail enjoy watching some March Madness games.

The Drink - March Madness, $9
Oj, mango syrup, soju, soda water

The Place - Ssisso
San Francisco, Japantown
Contemporary Korean restaurant
Daily lunch and dinner, wine and beer
http://ssissosf.com/

Other Ssisso drinks
Pomegranate Mint

Pomegranate Mint at Ssisso in San Francisco

A few days ago I saw on my Twitter feed that Thrillist had posted their favorite 8 places for Chicken Wings in San Francisco. As I was reading through the list I saw that Ssisso's garlic soy chicken wings were on the menu. I enjoyed a great meal there last March and searched through my March pictures folder to see if I had any pictures from the meal. Sure enough, I did, but only the drinks. While I remember this soju cocktail was on the sweet side for my taste, I didn't have trouble finishing it. Love the pink hue with the pop of minty green.

The Drink - Pomegranate Mint, $9/glass or $31/pitcher
Soju, pomegranate, mint

The Place - Ssiso
San Francisco, Japantown
Contemporary Korean restaurant
Daily lunch and dinner, wine and beer
http://ssissosf.com/

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Lambrusco at Gioia Pizzeria in San Francisco

I used to live in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Whenever I am in that area of the city, I enjoy seeing that some of my favorite places are still there (Aux Delice and La Folie). But I am also thrilled for the neighborhood with the new additions such as Gioia Pizzeria. I rarely see Lambrusco on menus, so when I saw it on Gioia's, I knew it would be the perfect pairing for a warm sunny San Francisco day. I enjoyed it so much, that I headed to the local Italian specialty wine shop, Biondivino, for a bottle of Lambrusco to enjoy at home.

The Drink - Lambrusco 

The Place - Gioia Pizzeria
San Francisco, Russian Hill
Italian restaurant
Daily lunch and dinner, weekend brunch, wine and beer

http://www.gioiapizzeria.com/
Caesar Salad

NY Style Pizza, available by the slice before dinner service

Chicken Parmesan

Perhaps the thinnest fries I've been served...addicting