January 30, 2015
This is a drink discovered in Denver, Colorado at the Williams and Graham bar (quite a fantastic place). This cocktail was invented by Chad Michael George one evening with a gaggle of geeks—a delicious beverage that runs hot and a little sweet with a bitters kicker.
2 oz Rye (barrel proof)
.75 oz Cocchi Torino vermouth
.5 oz Cynar
teaspoon of cherry liqueur (heering or luxardo)
7 drops chocolate bitters
stir. strain over big cube. add a luxardo cherry on skewer
January 16, 2015
The best part of the Palomar Hotel in San Francisco is the masterful bartending of Brian Means at Dirty Habit. Always learn something every time. Thanks Brian. (For you twitter people, see @myamericandram.)
Tonight it was a curry bourbon cocktail on the savory side that was just fantastic. Then a punch. We’ll call it On the Fly:
6 oz pierre ferrand 1840 cognac
6 oz citadelle gin
4 oz pierre ferrand dry curaçao
4 oz lemon juice
4 oz pomelo cordial (pomelo, sugar, jasmine tea)
12 oz prosecco
create. top with shaved cinnamon and black cardamon plus orange slices.
And there was Hirsch 20. Holy cow.
Special thanks to Christopher Smith for finagling a table during a busy time.
January 15, 2015
Here at NPS we have a long and storied history with the Hotel Palomar. This is our annual base of operations during the RSA show (with thousands and thousands of computer security types). And every time we do a Silicon Valley swing we try to tack on a night in the city. We even fomented the “Battle of the Palomars” between DC, Chicago and San Francisco! Feels like home.
[If there were some fresh flowers, we would put a picture of that here.]
But as GM Christopher Smith points out, “Seems like you have a knack for swinging by mid renovation or mid conference shift :).” Yup! So sadly I am sequestered in 831 instead of in my more favorite room style (which when I walked by was in a state of disarray with furniture being moved around in circles.) In the beginning, I was assigned 904 which sounded about right, but that room had a plastic shower?! Horrors. The situation was quickly rectified by Justin.
Anyway, there will be no getting lost in this room! But the Internet works and my phone call filled day is going well. About the only other fly in the ointment is a sentence to have dinner in Pleasanton (or Dublin) at McNamara’s Steakhouse. Woe is us.
About the only thing that will salvage tonight is a stop by for some cocktails with Brian Means at Dirty Habits. Looking forward to that!
Five showerheads with less water pressure than they need to properly operate for the Hotel Palomar this time. We’ll be back.
January 14, 2015
At NPS, we have been staying at the Cowper Inn for twice as many years as this blog has existed. And it’s still great!
Room 31 was recently updated with a new showerhead. As shower people, we approve. We also approve of the espresso machine in the breakfast room. If you are doing business in Silicon Valley, stay here.
Five showerheads for the Cowper Inn.
Dinner out at Tamarine was fantastic as usual. The Pho made with Kobe beef is outstanding. Add in some empress rice and maybe some banana beignets and you have a great meal. The bar program at Tamarine is back on track as well.
The new Italian place (run by Sicilians, so speak carefully) in Palo Alto is Arte Ristorante. Nice winelist. Decent Italian fare. Atmosphere was fine.
Drinks at Lure and Till were reasonable. They need to up their base liquor collection. Had a well crafted Sazarac (which would have benefitted from a better Rye and less absinthe). The Pisco Sour was properly made. Would love to see an even better cocktail joint in Palo Alto.
January 12, 2015
Just a few years ago (OK ten) I used to come to San Diego all the time. I stayed at the fabulous Estancia La Jolla so often that they got to know me. But now that Kimpton is, well, Kimpton we figured we could try the Hotel La Jolla on this trip as an alternative. It’s pretty Kimptony!
You know how we feel about the hamster cage hotel design here at NPS. Hotel La Jolla is what happens when you spiffify and stylize the classic rectangle of doom into a Kimpton property. That means comfortable bedding, cool bathrooms, and nice flooring. But there is only so much you can do with a concrete shell of rectangles, and noise is a problem here at Hotel La Jolla. Like the highway traffic leaks through the door and the building “wakes up” in the morning. Reminds me of living in an apartment in Italy.
On the plus side, you can see the ocean in the morning, and the room is very comfortable in the usual Kimpton way. It feels like a Kimpton.
Then there is the shower! Very cool indeed. A glass cube between the bedroom and the bathroom. We like.
A nice note and a welcome amenity of cheese was in the room as a greeting. (Sadly, no crackers!)
More on that shower, which incidentally has great water pressure too.
And then there is the Pacific ocean.
A high four showerheads for Hotel La Jolla.
Well almost. After a really yummy dinner at Herringbone during which we taught the barman Victor how to make a Broken Bike, we headed back to Hotel La Jolla for a nightcap. It was 9:15. The bar was staffed but closed. No service for us and no money for the Kimpton bar program.
So, miffed, we went back to Herringbone bar to close it down with Victor. Turns out it was Victor’s first night ever behind the bar (and not doing backbar). Negroni, Pappy 10, perhaps some Fernet Branca? Nice time.
Morning in La Jolla.