Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Bar Night: Union Square edition

(I've gotten like a shitload of new readers over the past few days mostly because of the "50 Reasons to Love/30 Reasons to Hate SF" posts which is great except that some people took the Hate list completely at face value and now think I'm some kind of jackass who belongs in Tulsa because I require plentiful free parking and hate puppies. Oh well. What are you gonna do. Not take everything so seriously, I guess.)

(Also, I'm wicked hungover and we're out of Advil. I found 2 Advil P.M. but I don't really want to go to sleep again.)

What's it been, since March that we had a New Bar Night? I'm sorry, I slacked. That's like when "Lost" would air like 4 episodes in a row and you'd be all "OK NOW! I'm down with the narrative. I see where we're going here!" And then it would POOF disappear off the air for 6 months and instead you'd be watching reruns of The First 48 and going "DUH IT'S THE GUY WITH THE BLOODSTAINS ON HIS SHIRT I'M NOT EVEN A DETECTIVE AND I CAN SEE THAT."

Do you ever go to Union Square? No, you don't. There's no reason. You're not from Out of Town. But what if you were on a date, for some reason, and you ended up near Union Square and you wanted to shock and awe your date with some sweet cocktails? There was no answer before. Now there is. It's Burritt Room, and it's on Stockton, just above Sutter, near the oddly graffiti-free Stockton Tunnel.

You go in through the Kubrickianly-clean lobby of the Crescent Hotel and go up some stairs and then all of a sudden you're in a really nice exposed brick/distressed wood kind of room where they make Artisanal Cocktails with Black Tea Infused Rum and shit like that. I'm not gonna lie, the drinks were off the heezy. When we first got there, there was a huge crowd of Squares with Nametags because, you know, it's a hotel bar, but they cleared out once we stationed ourselves at the bar and started yelling.

OK, business time. The cocktails were fucking excellent. I should have written down what was in them because they were fiendishly complicated and every drink had like 5-7 ingredients and different kinds of bitters and unpronounceable liqueurs and shit like that. Plus they're only $10 each which is a pretty good deal for that sort of thing. I think we liked the place a lot, and that was even before the chick next to us who looked like a taller thinner Lily Allen started flirting with Olu to the consternation of her boyfriend who then had to loom over her as if to cast a protective shield and we were all "He's not going to steal your girlfriend dude, we're here for New Bar Night, not New Chick Night."

Lily Allen wearing some kind of panda costume. Picture for reference only.

The bartender was super friendly too. You should go to this place.

Not so much with the next place, though: Cantina, up the hill a bit on Sutter. Sometimes you just don't know where a bar goes wrong. It's hard to pinpoint. Cantina's like that. It's not specifically a Mexican place (although Jason did get a $16 shot of tequila, like WTF Jason), but there's a nod to that. It feels kind of hotel bar-y. Like sterile or something. I will say that the Carmen Amaya (Rittenhouse straight rye, Cointreau, fresh lemon & muddled basil, amontillado sherry, thank you online menu for Cantina) was tasty, but I can't see hanging out there. The Australian guy at the bar seemed to be having a good time, though. We split.

Had a brief delay up the street on Sutter because Olu stopped to buy a 1.75 liter bottle of Skyy vodka with the security thing still on it from a Guy on the Street for $10. That's a good deal! Guy on the Street assured us that he came by the 1.75 liter bottle of Skyy vodka legitimately, so what's the big deal?

I've been to Ambassador before, but they hadn't, so it counts. The door guy let Olu check his $10 1.75 liter bottle of Skyy vodka so we could go in! That's nice. You know what? They have $3 beers and well drinks on Wednesday. That's cheap as fuck right there! It was also fucking EMPTY at 9:30 p.m. It was weird because there was more staff in the place than customers. It was like us and 3 Russian guys who looked like extras from the Russian Mob episode of Law and Order. So we stationed ourselves in one of the booths and drank some $3 drinks. Our waitress, bless her heart, was ADORABLE but maybe not the Brightest Star on the Horizon but she did a great job and we love her very much.

(Incidentally, is there a law or something that says all Door Guys have to have Scraggly Goatees? That seems to be a rule.)

Had a few rounds there until the DJ turned up the music SO LOUD that it was impossible to talk and you KNOW we are all Algonquin Round Table when we go out and if I can't hear Jason's fucking witty bon mots I'm just not into it. Plus, the music was terrible but I guess "California Gurls" is de rigueur now and you might as well get it out of the way at 10:30 before actual people show up.

They were making eyes at Osha Thai Noodle across the street but I ate dinner before I went out because I'm a FUCKING PROFESSIONAL so I just took a cab home.

To summarize:

Burritt Room: Yes. Four $10 bottles of Skyy vodka.

Cantina: No. One and a half $10 bottles of Skyy vodka.

Ambassador: Eh, maybe. Two $10 bottles of Skyy vodka.


Scurvy said...

Nooooo! The Burritt Room sucks! Don't go! Avoid it! Terrible! noooooo don't go!

Fuck! There goes another one of my favorite bars. Ruined by goddamn bloggers or goddamn fucking Yelp.

TK said...

I promise I won't tell anyone else, Scurvy.

Tamagosan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tamagosan said...

First of all, yes, the Door Guy Rule is true.

Second of all, DAYUMMMMMM, this is not really New Bar Night, but rather New Pub Crawl Night. Admirable. My tolerance is so low from lack of access to decent cocktails that 1/2 a beer at this point would make me check my Advil supply.

Third of all, I'm in frigging Guam and I heard about the Burritt Room because it's a new cocktail place in SF, so if you glance at the computer, the knowledge just implants itself in your brain. Also, I'm a bitters freak (well, for one kind, freak status TBD I guess) so when it flew by on the RSS reader, I took note. I do enjoy the protective nature of your comment, though; it's just that I gave up on that years ago. That said, I won't outline here the number one amazing reason I ever go to Union Square, because, like Scurvy, I still believe. :-)

toddx said...

I was so hoping you had gone to the Gold Dust Saloon. Alas. Opportunity for hilarity missed.

TK said...

Tam -

We usually try to hit a couple of places every NBN. Usually easy to do in SF.

Todd -

Agreed re hilarity, but we've all been to the Gold Dust before. For some reason.