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A rose

A rose

The Palomar in San Fran is home away from home. Been staying here for years. One of my favorite Kimpton properties in a city I have grown to know well. It is great to be greeted by the door staff and front desk staff who know you by sight.

A fish

A fish

902 is quite literally one step (or story) up from 802. Looks familiar and Palomar-y. Thanks to Christopher Smith for getting everything arranged during a very busy week indeed. This town is packed with geeks.

Welcome to RSA week, with a note, massive hunks of cheese, and fresh flowers

Welcome to RSA week, with a note, massive hunks of cheese, and fresh flowers

We really appreciate the flowers, but we’re gonna have to explain why FTD arrangements don’t work in modern design. Simple lines are always better.

We will be hosting a number of meetings during the RSA week, so it is great to have room to do that.

902 sitting room

902 sitting room

902 sitting

902 sitting

902 bedroom

902 bedroom

And of course there is the usual big giant bathtub and the ’80s parent’s shower. No plastic!

Big ole tub in 902

Big ole tub in 902

The 902 shower is in better shape than 802, but could be upgraded to a glass cube.

The 902 shower is in better shape than 802, but could be upgraded to a glass cube.

RSA week is always intense and long, and having a home away from home to return to (though the respites may be brief) is great. Five showerheads for the Palomar.

Guarded by gorgons

Guarded by gorgons

In other San Fran news, annabell’s is great as usual but is slated to close for renovation soon. This is one of my prime meeting places.

And as always, Cafe Claude is the best place for lunch (French style) in all of San Francisco.

I was lucky enough to visit Dirty Habit three times this week. The first drive by was with some of my friends in the tech press who, lets just say, had a big head start on cocktail hour. Raul Ayala served up an invention of his called the Date in India:
1.5 Herradora Blanco
.5 lime
.5 luxardo
.75 spicy tamarind puree (hmmm)
.25 all spice dram
This is shaken and then strained over the rocks. The coup de grace is a dehydrated orange slice liberally spiced with paprika, cayenne, and sugar floated on top.

Congrats to Raul for placing a nicely designed beverage on the list at one of the best bars on earth! We returned late night with a group of 40 or so after a dinner at Perbacco. The bar kindly accommodated our group. Excellent bourbon and some more Dates in India.

Also spent a bit of time at BDK, a new Kimpton bar and restaurant on Geary. The bar is good but a bit noisy and open for my taste. It feels just a bit too much like a meat market. Had some nice cocktails that could have used a bit more attention to measurement detail.

I returned late night one night by myself to see Mr. Brian Means himself. It’s always a pleasure to sample his delicious masterful cocktails. The bar was busy at crunch time, but everyone backbar (raul, crystal, and brian) took time out to chat and hang out. Such a pleasure.

Thursday madness approaches. Fasten your seatbelts.

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 curaƧao
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.

1019561

Special thanks to Christopher Smith for finagling a table during a busy time.

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.

The right kind of shower on 831.

The right kind of shower on 831.

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.

The room in all of its entirety. 831 Hotel Palomar.

The room in all of its entirety. 831 Hotel Palomar.

831 Hotel Palomar. All hail the door!

831 Hotel Palomar. All hail the door!

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.