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Barely at the San Fran Palomar

January 7, 2011

Somehow it happened again and a perfectly excellent room at the Palomar in San Francisco was squandered by a night of general merriment. This time it was room 814. No need to put in pictures, because there are plenty in previous entries. The Palomar staff was great. They got me the room type I love. There was wine and a note. They knew me at check in. Awesome behavior on their part. But squandered again! I may never get to take a bath in one of those huge tubs.

My good friend e and I had dinner at Fang, an excellent and almost undiscovered SF restaurant. The owner served us and we let him decide what we would eat. Delicious. But that was not really the problem. The problem was a trip over to the Alembic to sample some excellent mixology. When we showed up around 9, the place was too packed so we left our cell number for the hostess to text when there were some open spots. She never texted us…lame lame lame. But in the meantime we wandered down to the deliciously funky Aub Zam Zam for an incorrectly concocted Aviation. Some people make these without Creme de Violette, which is just plain wrong. The Aviation is a great drink, but the purple elixer of flowers is essential to its fundamental balance.

Enough about that. When we finally did get into Alembic, we were served by the extensively tattooed Janiece—a most excellent and knowledgeable proprietress of drinking. She made the following absolutely gorgeous but un-named drink:

1.5 oz Rye (Rittenhouse 100)
.75 Cynar
3 dashes orange bitters (Reagans)

Stir over ice and then serve up with a float of Brachetto (a sparkling red wine). Flame with an orange garnish. This drink was amazing. Like the best sangria you’ve ever had.

Alembic has my kind of atmosphere. Not at all pretentious. Really great drinks. Bartenders who love what they do and want to talk about it with you if you’re up for it. Led Zeppelin hour.

After the no-name concoction, we messed around with Rum and Torani Amer to no avail and finally ended up with a few too many bourbon shots and some random rum tastings. Four Roses cask strength is nowhere near as good as George T Stagg in my book, Somewhat miraculously I made it back home without incident for my three hours of sleep.

Speaking of which, United is off to a rip roaring sucky start to 2011. Apparently when you’re in business class you can no longer get a snack box thing without paying for it. So it’s horrible business class overcooked pasta or rubber chicken or pay for your box. That just sucks. And no upgrade on my return flight put me in economy plus on an ancient 767. (Granted, I did purchase my tickets at the last minute.) Nowhere but up from here for 2011 I guess.

4 Responses to “Barely at the San Fran Palomar”


  1. […] my previous two abbreviated visits to the Palomar in San Francisco, this time I got to stay a for a week. San Francisco is an excellent city to be stuck in for a week […]


  2. […] since I started doing it. United Airlines’ story of suckiness started with my first 2011 trip January and kept up a consistent beat of suckiness even to the last trip. The worst flight all year had to […]


  3. […] on United since I started doing it. United Airlines’ story of suckiness started with my first 2011 trip in January and kept up a consistent beat of suckiness even to the last trip. The worst flight all year had to […]


  4. […] two drinks are the Liberal and the Corpse Reviver #2. My favorite two bars are drink in Boston and the alembic in San Francisco. But there are more drinks and more bars, including Village Whiskey and […]


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