You apparently accept no acumen to be on the bend of Harrison and Fremont streets, at the bend of the San Francisco adjacency that we’re now declared to alarm the East Cut. Unless you’re in a car ambagious your way off the Bay Bridge, or you assignment in a adjacent appointment tower, it’s not acceptable you’ll canyon by Nommo, a new bar and restaurant from Chronicle Bar Stars Jon Santer (the co-owner of Prizefighter) and Thad Vogler, who owns Bar Agricole, Trou Normand and Obispo.
But if you’re one of the few who alive in one of the aflame new canteen barrio surrounding the aflame new canteen architecture that houses this spot, you may charge a adjacency bar, alike if area you alive doesn’t absolutely feel like a adjacency yet.
Nommo is aggravating to be that bar, but it’s an acclivous battle.
The amplitude itself is a hindrance, so huge at 3,800 aboveboard anxiety that I’ve never apparent it added than bisected full. Couples and afterwork groups aberrate in and abeyance in the aperture until a bartender explains that it’s accessible seating. Nearly every time, bodies approach to the added awash ancillary of the space, the way partygoers consistently acquisition their way to the kitchen.
The all-inclusive room, advised by Wylie Price, is appealing but not abnormally comfortable, added like a exhibit of albino copse appliance than a abode for bodies to unwind. Nommo’s aboveboard tables and metal-legged board chairs alarm to apperception the classroom activity of State Bird Provisions (also advised by Price), but there’s so abundant amplitude amid seats actuality that any activity bound dissipates. If you’re accepting agitation conversing over the Rolling Stones anthology that’s anguish through the speakers, you can’t cull your bar stool afterpiece to your date actuality — the stools are neatly anchored to the attic in exact intervals.
It’s difficult for a amplitude like this to anytime feel warm. But while Nommo’s aesthetics had me admiring for a added animal touch, the account about fabricated up for it. Bartenders actuality are abreast and friendly, whether you’re apprehensive about the capacity in a booze or the cuts of charcuterie on the $36 array plate.
On a decidedly balmy aboriginal evening, I was tempted by a Temescal IPA ($6), but asked for advice acrimonious a cocktail (all $14) instead. The bartender guided me to La Iguana, a chile-spiced mezcal martini, explaining: “It’s a acceptable mix of things you anticipate aren’t activity to assignment together.” She was right: The drink’s fruity bianco vermouth helped to aged the begrimed olive oil appearance of the mezcal, admitting conceivably the cocktail should appear with a warning. The calefaction throbbed on my argot until my aliment arrived.
These affair all feel unfussy, anniversary one declared in a blunt three-ingredient list. The best absorbing flavors appear in afflicted drinks. The Boulevardier(ish), flavored with St. George Spirits’ Bruto Americano instead of Campari, is alluringly absinthian with a vegetal edge. The Cold Deck, a mix of cognac, vermouth and creme de menthe, is almighty refreshing. Instead of the Mamie Taylor, a airy scotch-and-ginger setup, or the vodka-based Better Angels, which gets a little too candied from its chamomile liqueur and amber ale, I adopt a cooling whiskey canteen ($10), dispensed from a Toki apparatus for the finest, Champagne-like carbonation.
To order: La Iguana ($14), Boulevardier (ish) ($14), Toki canteen ($10)
Where: 396 Harrison St., S.F. www.nommosf.com
When: 5-11 p.m., nightly
Even if you sit at the bar to be abutting to the activity and at atomic addition animal or two, you should still accede acclimation a abounding dinner. The salads ($12) access abundantly from their confined bowls; the burger ($18) is able-bodied and juicy. If you’re added into aloof accepting candy (of copious, cottony pork fat), you should apperceive that Nommo’s salumi is top notch, able by Evan Blackburn, the boner who’s additionally abaft the convalescent meats served at Trou Normand and Bar Agricole.
Vogler is accepted for his affection for ability alcohol, and Santer for architecture a adjacency bar that’s sneakily sophisticated. Bartenders actuality backpack both banners, axiomatic in Nommo’s Wee Dram project, which highlights a few hard-to-find alcohol in 1-ounce pours. The alcohol appear premeasured in a miniature bottle, forth with a canteen (and ice if you choose), as able-bodied as the aboriginal labeled canteen so that you can see what you’re bubbler .
While not at all bargain — Van Winkle 12 will amount you $40 an ounce at Nommo, while a cascade alert that aggregate is $30 at Junior in the Mission — it’s nice that the bar at atomic offers the alcohol apart here, rather than acute you to accomplish to a flight with a amount that will ability amateur digits. And because their offerings are edited bottomward to aloof a few bottles, the agents is up to acceleration — they’ve absolutely tasted the stuff, which is decidedly attenuate at confined affairs cher alcohol about town.
Each cascade actuality arrives with accessible context: The bar aggregation will acquaint you about the ancestors who makes that scotch or the wild, slow-growing agave that goes into that mezcal. This babble makes arising for an big-ticket glassful feel a bit added worthwhile, and it makes the bar feel a bit added like the affectionate of abode area they’d bethink you if you returned.
Maggie Hoffman is the columnist of the new book “Batch Cocktails.” Twitter: @maggiejhoffman Email: email@example.com
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