Let's start with the bio: Hamid Javanbakht is a San Francisco native, Le Cordon Bleu graduate and a mixologist for Tru restaurant. He once worked at the two-Michelin Starred Manresa in Los Gatos, California, as the head food runner, and recently passed the Certified Exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Next up: Javanbakht's now pursuing a molecular style of mixology that complements the whimsical style of the food at Tru (his latest cocktail experiments involve creating Elderflower Bubbles). Despite his scientific leanings, Javanbakht says he's just a simple "Margarita on the rocks with a salt rim kind of guy."
The best drink in the house is:
The "Vertical Apple Pie," where I gently heat apple juice with fresh passion fruit, lemon juice and a pinch of cinnamon then add some arrowroot powder and xantham gum to thicken the consistency. After it cools, I stir in some Calvados. The rim of the glass is decorated with a cinnamon/brown sugar mix, some fresh-chopped apple is added to the glass, and a vanilla simple syrup is floated on the top in the Calvados/juice mixture. This suspends the chopped apple at different heights.
Patrons might score a free drink if:
They order a 1990 La Tache (which retails for thousands of dollars). The bar used to be in the lounge, where everybody could see what we had, and they could interact with the bartender directly, so they had a better chance of sampling various house-infused grappas or cocktails. Since Memorial Day, it's become a service bar near the kitchen.
Little known fact about this joint:
We offer a $25 dessert tasting every night and even walk-ins are seated if there is an open table.
For good grub before or after a shift, you hit up:
The first time I had Jimmy John's was a few months ago, and I was hooked ever since. I never heard of it when I lived in the Bay Area. After work, the closest place that's open is Bijan's, where I'll occasionally order a seasonal Sam Adam's and a burger.
When you're not boozing here, you prefer to patronize:
Nacional 27; it's the best place to go out with friends.
Another bartender/owner we should know is:
Locally, Moto's Mike Ryan. He approaches mixology with a similar philosophy as me. Internationally, Wayne Collins and Tony Conigliaro. The former inspired me to create the "Vertical Apple Pie" with his "Jingle Jangle," which also suspends ingredients. I've read the latter has been collaborating with Heston Blumenthal (chef/owner of the UK restaurant The Fat Duck) on "molecular" cocktails.