Last week, I popped by a preopening party for the revamped Hotel Kabuki bar, and it’s quite a looker (the hotel just finished a $31 million renovation). I know I’ll be hosting some future meetings there, especially in the lobby—it has a fun residential style, full of interesting books and eclectic objets. There’s a large communal table near the bar, and the outdoor patio will open with fire pits in a few months.
Head bartender and beverage director Stephanie Wheeler (previously at Hojoko at The Verb Hotel in Boston and Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago) has crafted a list of Japanese-influenced cocktails, from the Yomogi Tonic (fresh pear and lime juices, housemade white miso-honey syrup, and Mixwell dandelion tonic, garnished with candy made in-house from the pulp of the juiced pears, a no-waste approach that is also reflected in their quality paper straw choice from Aardvark Straws) to a personal favorite, the Golden Tea Milk Punch (served in a teapot, with Nikka Coffey Gin, Giffard Vanilla, Japanese Sencha green tea, honey, turmeric, and coconut milk). Talk about a flu buster. The next time someone wants to meet for tea, this will be my suggestion. (You can also order it cold.) Japanese whisky and sake and beers will also be available, as well as a Japanese tea ceremony (from a custom bar cart) in the afternoon.
There are also some food options, from a Japanese bento breakfast and breakfast buffet to small evening bites like shishito peppers with avocado cream and serrano peppers, chicken karaage, plus okonomiyaki and a chicken katsu slider. Happy hour is daily 4pm-6pm. Bar hours Sun-Thu 4pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 4pm-12am. 1625 Post St. at Laguna.