Just before I went down the rabbit hole of pure work insanity for a month, I had a farewell to my life night of cocktails at the new incarnation of OVER PROOF, the intimate bar above ABV in the Mission. You may recall the owners kept rebooting the theme and décor to explore different spirits and global locations, which was fun, but proved to be way too much work.
Owner Ryan Fitzgerald and partners Todd Smith and Erik Reichborn-Kjennerud decided to make things permanent for the space and offer a reservations-only experience, with a cocktail tasting menu, rare spirits, and a seafood-forward menu. The current space has 18 seats, with a four-seat bar, and a classic look that has some mid-century simplicity, groovy wallpaper, touches of gold and light wood, and shimmering bottles of whiskey on display. It’s both nice but laid-back at the same time, and the reservations format is perfect for those nights when you want to go out and drink but would like a slower-paced experience, and don’t want to deal with a busy bar or have to jockey for seats. Two words: date night.
The menu is like their think-tank, featuring creative cocktails, rare spirits, flights ($25-$35), and tasting menus ($40-$75)—you can also order cocktails à la carte. I say try the tasting menu, so you can get wowed with cocktails like The Sauna Cocktail (whisky, pu-erh, cedar, steam), Not THAT Celery Drink (apple brandy, gin, celery shrub, hopped soda), and the Tamal Coctel (corn- and tortilla-infused mezcal, cacao, habanero). The flavors and presentations are really fun, delicious, unexpected, and it’s an immersive experience. You’ll also find some well-chosen wines, rare booze, and more.
The menu highlights some refined seafood dishes from chefs Collin Hilton and Nick Salazar, from raw oysters to “affordable” caviar service to chawanmushi (Santa Barbara uni, salmon roe, oxalis, $14), but the unexpected winner was the grilled lamb ribs (recado blanco, charred brussels, herbs, $26), which are exactly what you want after you’ve been drinking some fancy booze.
Meet your new clubhouse. Open Wed-Sat, reservations available 6:30pm-11:30pm. 3174 16th St. at Guerrero.