My friends and I really love each other. We also really love food. So instead of deciding between two reservations for a dinner birthday celebration for my best friend, we kept both. One at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in Hayes Valley for drinks and appies, and then onto the one and only Nopa for dinner, more drinks and zert. It was pretty epic, and solves the problem of only being able to get super early or super late reservations on weekend nights in San Francisco. If you’re feeling extra ambitious/gluttonous/hungry/epic, I suggest doing it. Knocked two of the city’s best off my list in one night. And they were both phenomenal. At Absinthe, we tried the mac and cheese, soft garlic pretzels, seafood ceviche with yucca chips and the Ginger Rodgers ( Gin, fresh mint, ginger syrup, & lemon juice, topped with ginger beer and served with a slice of lime). The drink was one of the best I’ve ever had with that combination of ingredients. All of the food was great, too. Unfortunately it was pretty dim in there so my pictures don’t do any of it justice. I guess you’ll just have to go for yourself to see.
My only regret is that starting at Absinthe, I wanted to try more entrees and dessert there and then ending at Nopa, I was already a bit full and couldn’t full gorge myself. (What is wrong with me?) Anyway, they’re both great spots – food, ambiance, the restaurant spaces themselves….it goes on. The service at Absinthe was pretty sub-par (our waitress was pretty curt and not very helpful) but if that didn’t take away from the rest of it, you know it’s a good place.
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar // 398 Hayes St. // Tuesday & Wednesday: 11:30 am to midnight
Thursday & Friday: 11:30 am to midnight (bar open til 2 am)
Saturday: Brunch, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; 3:00 pm to midnight (bar open til 2 am)
Sunday: Brunch, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm