Drinks & Things - Chop Bar
Not far from Jack London Square there's a well-lit building with high windows. Their dining meets you on the street, giving the feeling you're experiencing it before you hit the door. As I sat at a bar made of wood and steel finishes, I noticed the person to the left and to the right had the exact same meal, then, about every other person across the room sat with Chop's famous Burger and Fries. One woman swore passionately she returned here for years that were three in number for that particular dish.
When I pulled my gaze from their plate, I found tucked behind the counter, a cluster of cool enthusiasts. They slid drink menus like cards and a shameless drop of hometown pride urged us to go first for the Oaklandish Gold which smelled of Irish Whiskey, Green Chartreuse, honey syrup and lemon zest. The sour tingled the back sides of your tongue before a mild sweetness raised your brow. The drink demanded you take it slow, demanded to be enjoyed, waited for. Your buds let you know when they're ready for more. The sharp potency was cloaked in an escalating burst of flavor. If I had to describe Oaklandish Gold in a word it would be enthusiasm.And after spending some time with the local elixir, a pleasant first encounter, we found our fingers scrolling the menu for new discovery.
As we did, each of us kept getting tripped on one word: Bacanora. Bacanora. A word I won't soon forget. The frontrunner in an Endless Summer, Bacanora is a cousin to tequila that was banned in the states from 1901 to 1992. Even after allowed for consumption, Bacanora was still ridiculously difficult for the normal consumer to procure (its not at Bevmo!, I checked). So, how does one describe something that's been off the market for ninety-one years? You can't. You don't. The smart bartender stumbled over his words, shrugged, paused, and poured us a shot. A perfect bio. The liquid was smooth heat. And when mixed with the other ingredients: Orgeat (french almond syrup), lemon, brandied cherry juice and soda what came out were layers of light beige and purple. The Endless Summer. When shades were stirred, they made one of the most original mixed drinks this side of the bay.
Overall, Chop Bar was a trendy experience. Made of comfy people and attentive serviceIf you're going, I highly recommend catching happy hour from 3 - 5:30 every day.