December 15, 2015

December 15, 2015

Foreign Cinema and Laszlo bar manager Nicky Beyries. Photo: ©


The Immortal. Photo: ©


Through the Mirror (formerly available with blackberry balsamic and now with tangerine shrub). Photo: ©

Last week I got to take a break from my fire hose of email (LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT OUR SPECIAL NEW YEAR’S EVE PRIX-FIXE DINNER!) and head on over to the bar at ~FOREIGN CINEMA~, where the new bar manager for both Foreign Cinema and Laszlo, Nicky Beyries, walked me through her new cocktail menu and philosophy.

She was previously at Lazy Bear, and her approach is very culinary-minded (her family is big on canning—owning a Salinas farm will have that effect) and she also studied winemaking. I tasted through five of her cocktails and was struck with how balanced they were, and sophisticated too. Bonus: French New Wave buffs will note the reference to Cocteau’s Orpheus with the current theme.

Lovers of vermouth and aperitifs should check out the Negroni-inspired Blood of a Poet, with Square One bergamot vodka, Dolin Blanc Chambéry, Salers gentiane aperitif, and a slice of dehydrated blood orange. Meanwhile, the sidecar gets a 2.0 treatment with Eurydice—instead of being overwhelmed with orange, Beyries was inspired to take it in a different direction, making it with Wild Cupreata mezcal (which is more floral than smoky), fresh lemon, English mead (it rounds the cocktail out), rich simple syrup, rosewater, and a rim of spun rose sugar (it’s a beaut).

My personal favorite for the season was The Immortal, with Bernheim wheated whiskey, fresh lemon, allspice dram, housemade Fuyu persimmon and cinnamon purée—it has holiday notes to it, so if you’re craving some seasonal cheer, here’s your pick.

I love a Boulevardier, and The Henchmen is a mighty tasty spin on it, with High West double rye, Leopold Bros. aperitivo (with some fantastic bitter orange and grapefruit notes), Cocchi di Torino, and an orange twist.

Through the Mirror features the palate prickle of housemade tangerine shrub (previously blackberry-balsamic), plus aromatized wines (Cocchi and Dolin dry) and is rooted with a mezcal rinse. I was thinking this was like a martini that was light on its feet.

In addition to her beautiful cocktails and the updated bar program, which will be changing seasonally, ~LASZLO~ is going to be getting a well-deserved facelift in the New Year, moving away from its industrial and dark look. There will be accordion windows that will open onto the front patio, a lighter color palette, new banquettes, and the DJ booth will be moved, so the bar will be a bit longer. They’d like to bring it back to when it was a popular industry hangout, and the updated cocktails are sure to be a draw. They plan to close for a couple of weeks in early January; we’ll keep you posted. 2526 Mission St. at 21st St.

I also hear that Foreign Cinema is going to be gaining some additional storage in a space next door, so the extensive wine list is going to be boosted up even more—to 1,000 bottles—and there’s the possibility of another private dining room being added too (TBD!). Stand by for updates in the New Year.


The Elbo Room. Yelp photo by Omar K.

By Dana Eastland. After many months of speculation, meetings, and stories, it looks like beloved Mission bar ~ELBO ROOM~ is going to stay open—at least through the end of 2017. Woohoo! Eater caught the news on the bar’s Facebook page. We’ll happily drink to that. 647 Valencia St. at 17th St., 415-552-7788.

Ken Furusawa, the former bar manager at Ichi Sushi, is now running the bar at ~1300 ON FILLMORE~ (you may also remember him at Range, Saison, and La Folie). He’s taking the classic repertoire of Low Country drinks and modernizing them a bit. The menu boasts lots of bourbon, as well as Madeira, because of South Carolina’s history as a fortified wine port. There’s a pecan old-fashioned, made with Scotch, muscovado sugar, pecan bitters, and a chicory ice cube, or try the Madeira cobbler with demerara sugar, orange, and lemon. Here’s the menu for your perusal.