A view of the bar area. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
Bar director Priscilla Young pours a Garden Envy. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
Gin on parade. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
After a soft opening period, ~BRASSERIE S&P~ has opened in the Mandarin Oriental. As previously mentioned in tablehopper, chef Adam Mali’s menu is San Francisco-brasserie style, utilizing local sources. There is a raw bar featuring local oysters and lots of plates built to share, like ahi tuna poke with macadamia nut, green onion, Fresno chile, and sesame; duck confit with apricot, crème fraîche, and chive on latkes; and kimchi-pork steamed buns.
The bar and dining area are comfortably appointed, with leather stools and seats, and expansive tables to accommodate the many little (or big) dishes you order. The space avoids predictable hotel-chic with natural touches, like beautiful wood burl paneling along the bar and unfussy, fresh flowers distributed abundantly. The silhouettes of the furniture and mirrored bar offer a touch of Art Deco aesthetic, which further grounds the design. It is a comfortable spot for a quick meal on the go, or a more intimate, leisurely experience.
The bar is a focal point of the room, stocked with 34 glimmering bottles of gin by bar director Priscilla Young (she tasted through 86 different gins to decide which ones to include). She has a sommelier background and approached the selection of gin with that mind-set. She sought to identify the aromatics and botanicals in each gin, and then made the decision either to enhance or contrast them when crafting cocktails, much in the same way one decides to pair wines and food.
On the bar, you’ll see clear glass pots with simple syrup, heirloom tomato water, currant hibiscus syrup, and rose water. Don’t miss the Garden Envy, Priscilla’s spin on the Vesper, made with a cold infusion of Hendrick’s gin, Granny Smith apple, celery, dill, and black pepper, and Square One cucumber vodka, Galliano, and lime juice. The bar will also be elevating the Gin & Tonic, with some using housemade tonics and handmade ice.