The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
October 8, 2019

The stylish, new Fort Point Valencia taproom. Photo: Sarah Chorey.


The pork chop bun at Fort Point Valencia. Photo: Sarah Chorey.

Last Friday, I attended a preview of the new Fort Point Beer Company taproom, ~FORT POINT VALENCIA~, and it’s quite a looker (and taster). You won’t recognize the former St. James Brasserie space—Fort Point Beer Company’s creative director, Dina Dobkin, created a sleek, stylish place, with natural light from the skylights, round communal tables (there are smaller tables in the back), a monochromatic palette that gets hit with bright pops of color—like the custom neon pieces by Peterson Neon, the blue entrance and table stands, and the back archway of red—and check out the sunken beer taps and chic light fixtures. They also did some stealth sound paneling so you can hear yourself think.

You’ll find a tap list of 12 Fort Point beers, plus 7 guest drafts (including experimental, draft-only beers from Black Sands Brewery), and 2 ciders. And there’s a pretty sweet wine list too, with minimal intervention producers—it’s like a secret wine bar.

Executive chef Eric Ehler (previously Mister Jiu’s) is putting out such a creative and delicious menu, with elements of Chinese cuisine, Cali freshness, and basically all the things you want while drinking beer, like dill chips with fluffy Millionaire’s Dip, a pork chop bun on Dutch crunch that is going to own you, and his famed cheeseburger, which he became known for while at Black Sands (there’s also a yuba club sandwich). Of course you’re going to get the party bread, and I definitely had a moment with the egg salad tartine on rye topped with corned beef tongue and chicken liver.

Open daily 11am-12am. 742 Valencia St. at 18th St.

September 24, 2019

Discover over 300 sakes at Sake Day. Photo courtesy of Sake Day via Facebook.

Sake fans, don’t miss the 14th annual SAKE DAY tasting event presented by True Sake on Saturday September 28th. Over 20 sake brewery owners and representatives will be pouring over 300 sakes, and The Riedel Crystal Company will be launching their new “Junmai Sake Glass.” All ticket proceeds go to Japan Town’s Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC). 4pm-8pm. $80. Tickets. Hotel Kabuki: 1625 Post St. at Laguna.

September 10, 2019

The future home of Palm City Wines. Photo courtesy of Palm City Wines.

San Francisco really has some fantastic wine shops and bars these days, and there’s another one due to join the party: ~PALM CITY WINES~ is going to be a wine shop and bar coming to the Outer Sunset before the end of the year (they’ll also be serving beers and bites). It’s from the husband-wife team of Dennis Cantwell and Monica Wong, who have both spent years working at some of San Francisco’s most beloved establishments: Dennis at Nopa and Zuni and Monica at A16 and Bar Agricole, as well as High Treason. They’re excited to take what they’ve learned and share it with their Outer Sunset community they adore so much (Monica is the third generation of her family to live in the home they reside in!).

As for the name, Palm City was a nickname given to the California Midwinter Exposition that took place in parts of the Sunset and Golden Gate Park in 1894 and surrounding area. Dennis tells me the name was used to encourage guests to visit the western end of San Francisco that was still yet to be developed or even named.

I’ll keep you posted on their opening. 4055 Irving St. at 42nd Ave.


Champagne, caviar, done. (At The Riddler.) Photo: Kassie Borreson.

Some bubbly updates for you: ~THE RIDDLER~ is reopening this evening (Tuesday September 10th) after completing their city-mandated seismic upgrade. They also refreshed the interior a bit, and the menu has some new additions, as well as the brunch menu. Time to pop Champagne!

On Saturday September 28th, there’s a caviar and Champagne tasting with The Caviar Company at MICHAEL MINA from 4:30pm-7pm. Menu and tickets here (it’s $195).

Coming up on Thursday October 10th, is the 16th annual Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting, featuring the Top 100 Wineries of the Year, with bites from some fantastic Bay Area restaurants named in their annual SF50 Top of The List, plus oysters, local cheeses, and an array of artisan specialties. Wine & Spirits Top 100 benefits San Francisco Baykeeper, an organization helping to protect local water resources and supporting initiatives to fight water pollution. VIP admission at 5:30pm, GA at 6:30pm. Don’t be late, the event ends at 8:30pm. Tickets here; $135-$185, plus fees. City View at METREON, San Francisco, 135 4th St., 4th floor.