15 Romolo – North Beach
15 Romolo is a cocktail geek’s paradise. The drink list is filled with original concoctions with unusual ingredients in surprising combinations, and unlike the sighs and eye rolls you’ll get at most bars if you aren’t sure what you want, the bar keeps at 15 Romolo are happy to create something for you on the spot. I recommend getting a seat at the bar so you can see the magic and creative cocktail shaking that goes into each one of their fantastic drinks.
I knew I was in good hands when I saw the tiny bottles of bitters, syrups and various odd tinctures aligned on the bar. A sucker for any cocktail made with a whole, fresh egg, I started off with the Sex Panther Flip, a drink that lives up to its name. After that things got a little blurry, with my friends and I each passing our own drinks around to be tasted, none of them less than spectacular.
15 Romolo has plenty of space with tables for large groups and a well stocked jukebox. Due to the acoustics the bar is probably the loudest I have experienced, but once you’ve knocked back a few it becomes less noticeable. The lighting is nice and dark, with candles casting a warm, flattering light.
To soak up the night’s giggle water, 15 Romolo has a small bar bites menu that features California versions of Southern food made with fresh, local ingredients. The small plates are quite affordable, with most items being $6. I had the mini pulled pork sliders, which were pretty good, and the french fries that were freaking amazing. The menu changes with the season, but the theme stays the same, and every time I have visited the fare has been solid.
San Francisco, CA 94133