Time for a liquid nitrogen cocktail.
Kudos to Anthony Myint and his team: the opening of ~COMMONWEALTH~ is very, very close. Like, next Tuesday August 10th, if everything goes according to plan. Executive chef Jason Fox (previously Bar Tartine) has assembled quite the menu, which bridges contemporary American and Californian styles. Sample dishes include compressed watermelon, tofu, nori, cucumber, wild greens, togarashi ($10); wonderful-sounding fish dishes like fluke crudo, peach, txakoli gel, tarragon, wild seaweeds ($14) and corn custard, sea urchin, chorizo, lobster emulsion, jalapeño ($15); while meatier choices include grilled lamb tongue, chard, burnt eggplant, miso, mint ($12) or pork shoulder, French beans, plum, lime, Marcona almond ($11). (You can take a look at the entire menu here.)
In case you were getting extra-excited about those price points, the menu is structured around medium-sized portions, so you would order two-three dishes for a complete meal. There is also a $60 six-course tasting menu, with $10 of the price donated to charity.
As I previously mentioned, the GM is Xelina Leyba, another Bar Tartine alum, and the chef de cuisine is Ian Muntzert (pictured), formerly at Coi, Zuni Cafe, Nopa, and Bar Tartine. AGM Sarah Elliott, a certified sommelier, has assembled a tight list of 35 wines. One drink that is sure to be a hit is made with Château de Laubade Floc de Gascogne (a sweet and light aperitif), melon juice, shiso, and raspberries, and it all comes together in a bath of liquid nitrogen (it will obviously be assembled in the kitchen instead of in front of folks at the bar—don’t need anyone to lose a hand, or have their dinner frozen).
The former El Herradero 45-seat space has been transformed by Eric Heid of Martin Heid (Spork, Range). There is a minimalist-meets-modernist style, with blonde hickory and stained hickory floors, white brick, suspended globe lights (a few contain air plants), a banquette along the wall and front window, and a 10-seat bar, with four of those seats wrapping into the kitchen. There is also a lot of light from the front window, and a skylight, which will lend an open feeling. In case you were wondering about the huge Hunt’s Quality Donuts signage along the side of the building, when they were taking off the El Herradero panels, the vintage 1950s-era mural was revealed. It appears it was a production facility for the Hunt’s donut shops around town—they’re trying to get more details about the 1920s building’s history.
A number of tables will be held for walk-ins, although you can also reserve in advance. Like, now. Hours are Sun, Wed-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, and until 11pm Fri-Sat.