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Spoiled Rotten at the Palomar in San Francisco

February 27, 2013

Still on a natural high after a weekend national TV gig on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, United airlines did all they could to screw up my birthday, but the crack Palomar staff did not allow that for long. What an absolutely awesome welcome back to my favorite hotel on the planet!

I was personally greeted by everybody when I drove up in my little old lady rental car (some kind of huge Chrysler thing). Check in was efficient and fun. I saw some old friends. And then it was up to 830 where I was greeted with this:

Birthday setup on arrival at the Palmar SF.  Super cool.

Birthday setup on arrival at the Palmar SF. Super cool.

Welcome note from Kelsey and Lauren.

Welcome note from Kelsey and Lauren.

Best welcome package ever from Fifth Floor barman Brian Means.

Best welcome package ever from Fifth Floor barman Brian Means.

Brian Means had concocted (and bottled in a gorgeous way suited for the Apothecary Shed itself) The Pooka, which is concocted as follows:
2.5 oz Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
.5 oz Poli Miele Honey Grappa (with a nicely redundant name)
.25 oz simple syrup
4 dashes house made lemon-vanilla bitters

Boy did the Pooka hit the spot after the terrible travel SNAFU that is United!

The handmade note that Kelsey Barthe and Lauren Gruber made was adorable and very nice. Thanks you two.

830 Bedroom.

830 Bedroom.

Great bathroom layout with another one of those tub things!

This shower is not plastic.

This shower is not plastic.

After a brief respite it was off to Flour+Water for a late but very delicious meal with the “secret book club girlfriend.” Flour+Water deserves the buzz it has going for it. Our servers were delightful and quirky and just plain fun. We topped of the meal with a nightcap at 15 Romolo, a nice little find tucked away in an alley just outside of tourist land. Absinthe hour was upon me. Ultimately, at [undisclosed but venerable age] I stayed up 23.5 hours on my birthday and lived to type about it!

RSA is still in full swing and packed to the gills with meetings, meals, and old friends.

Got to spend some quality time with Brian Means at the incredibly plussed up bar on the Fifth Floor. The bourbon list is some indication of quality elixers available.

Palomar Fifth Floor Bourbon List

Palomar Fifth Floor Bourbon List

Brian is quite the barman and made many delicious beverages for me, including the following un-named beverage which we’ll call Drinking Above his Means
1.5 oz London Dry Gin
.75 oz Sutton vermouth
.25 Suze
3 Dashes orange bitters
Stir down and garnish with orange peel.

I also had a Shift Ender next door at Annabelle’s one evening.
.5 oz Frenet Branca
1.5 oz Jameson (irish whiskey)
.5 Canton
3 dashes orange bitters
1.5 oz Ginger Beer
Brandied Cherries.

However, the most delightful cocktail experience was another supremely interesting and fantastic Tequila lesson from Jacques Bezuidenhout who joined an eclectic group of us afterwards for a delicious and engaging dinner at Saha.

Supremely rare and outstanding tequila from Jacques Bezuidenhout.

Supremely rare and outstanding tequila from Jacques Bezuidenhout.

Jacques says, “Not many people in the country have tried these yet. Very limited and small amount produced.”

We nosed, tasted, and conversed about:
1) Wild Tepeztate – 45% abv – Had some innertube medical mezcal funk going
2) San Jose Rio Minas – 48% abv – Cherry Vinegar fruit note. Great nose with condensing flavors.
3) Wild Papalome – 45% abv – Spice, Herbaceous, pepper notes, and the dirt of Mexico. Hot.

The San Francisco Palomar deserves 47 showerheads for their excellent service and for making me feel really special on my birthday. A home away from home.

View from Sausolito business lunch.

View from Sausolito business lunch.

2 Responses to “Spoiled Rotten at the Palomar in San Francisco”


  1. […] 205 (the joker) is super. And super tiny. This is Paris, but NY is NY, Boston is Boston, and San Francisco is San Francisco. Meaning, there are bigger rooms to be found in this city in boutique hotels. I just don’t […]


  2. […] back at the Palomar in San Francisco where I spent some time being spoiled in February. Fantastic as […]


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