The divey Luau Bar & Grill in Cow Hollow is almost done transforming into the intimate ~MERCURY APPETIZER BAR~ that is one part restaurant, one part lounge, and one part bar. The space features distressed hardwood floors, a brick wall, treated metal art pieces, and a polished stainless bar with hardwood borders that seats 14.
Brandon Clements (formerly the bar manager at MECCA) is the GM; he met Mercury's chef and one of the partners, Dominic Ainza, during their time working together at Betelnut (Ainza is currently doing double duty, cooking at Poleng Lounge too). They are just ramping up, but the menu of Asian small plates includes some Filipino faves, like lumpia ($7, five dumplings of pork sausage and a whole shrimp with the tail still on) and ginger beef ($12), bites of filet mignon served over sweet potato fries. You can check out the appetizing menu here (yes, pun intended).
Drinks also feature some Asian flair, with homemade syrups made with lemongrass and ginger. There's also a lavender martini and Thai basil gimlet on the menu, plus additional composed drinks like the Chai Iced Tea, made with Phillips Union Vanilla Whiskey, Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur, Thai tea, and half & half.
In a couple weeks they will be kicking off weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Things are still getting worked out, but it sounds like it's shaping up to be a nice late-night addition to the neighborhood.
Mercury Appetizer Bar
1434 Lombard St.
Cross: Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Sat-Sun brunch (in Feb.)