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Battle of the Palomars (San Francisco versus Chicago)

April 24, 2013

I’m back at the Palomar in San Francisco where I spent some time being spoiled in February. Fantastic as always.

It seems as if I am the “victim” of some kind of colosal contest between the Chicago Palomar and the San Francisco Palomar. It’s tit for tat. Chicago started it with this year’s first visit. And Chicago had the previous move just recently as well. I could not be luckier to be stuck in this battle of the titans!

I was greeted with flowers.

Palmoar San Francisco ups the Ante with Flowers

Palmoar San Francisco ups the Ante with Flowers

And a charcuterie plate that is simply outstanding. (Too bad it was sushi night at ozumo last night.)

Welcome package with sparkling water, wine, and a delicious charcuterie selection.

Welcome package with sparkling water, wine, and a delicious charcuterie selection.

Wow.  Fifth floor does its thing.

Wow. Fifth floor does its thing.

The only thing seemingly missing is a cocktail invented just for the occasion. What, is Chicago pulling ahead? Surely not. (They don’t call me maestro for one thing.)

Room 802 is a well appointed suite.

Couch land,

Couch land,

Bed land.

Bed land.

Bathroom land.

Bathroom land.

The shower in 802 is not as cool as some showers at the Palomar in San Francisco, but it passes the noplasticshowers tests with flying colors.

This shower is not plastic.

This shower is not plastic.

Thanks to Kelsey Barthe and the entire staff for making me feel welcome. This is a great base of operations for the next few days. Too bad about the breakfast meeting in Sunnyvale!!


Good news, the Sunnyvale run is cancelled. Better news, the battle has been joined!

Day2 = Greenpoint (just to make jS green with envy)

Day2 = Greenpoint (just to make jS green with envy)

And the associated note.

And the associated note.

Just for the record, the Greenpoint is a delicious and well known concoction. Muchas gracias.

Now off to Perbacco for dinner. Perbacco remains serviceable and a nice place for a business dinner (get a table upstairs to avoid the noise).

Wandered into the Fifth Floor bar for a late nightcap with Matias after just a bit of wine and grappa at Perbacco (Rajiv brought in two bottles from his cellar to complement the Italian-heavy house list). Fifth floor was hopping for a Wednesday, but never really gets overly crowded from what I can tell. The service was attentive and fun (sometimes overly attentive, with some missed handoffs between servers, barkeeps, and filler inners who came to the party late).

Sadly, head barman Brian Means was off. (Everyone deserves a day off now and then.) We were served by his protege Sarah, who has some big shoes to fill when Brian is not in the building. Sarah is very good indeed. We had some very good cocktails, but nothing deserving particular note.

Upon a second visit, we tried out a number of the drinks on the bar menu (along with some “oysters five ways” from the restaurant menu). The list includes some superb and interesting drinks. There was no time to get the recipes as we had to head out to Saha for dinner. Sarah was kind enough to make us a house favorite Boris Karloff:
.75 gin
.75 St Germaine (eiderflower)
1 t confectioners sugar
1 egg white
shake, strain
grated lime zest and black pepper as a garnish on the (now) beaten egg white

I really shouldn’t admit it here, but the bar at Sable in Chicago is better than the bar at the Fifth Floor. Better space and a deeper staff. That may well even the score in the battle of the Palomars. In final analysis, both bars are absolutely top notch for hotel-associated enterprises. It is rare indeed to find any hotel that blows out all the noplasticshowers criteria, and both Palomars in the battle do. Hopefully they will spawn.

Five showerheads for San Francisco Palomar. Love it.

5 Responses to “Battle of the Palomars (San Francisco versus Chicago)”

  1. Diana Says:

    The type of post I like. ;) So….SF wins?


  2. […] in its NY way, 70 Park is no Palomar. If it were entered in the battle of the Palomars, it would be soundly defeated in round one. In fact, if it were in a tennis match with either […]


  3. […] apart from others is a great bar. Chicago Palomar? Superb bar. World class. Phenomenal property. San Francisco Palomar? Great bar. And the best staff in the business to boot. But what about New York? I like 70 Park, […]


  4. […] in all, five showerheads for the DC Palomar. They’re not quite ready for the Palomar wars, but they will be […]


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