The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
February 11, 2020
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The bar features a stunning neon sculpture by Laura Stevenson (Rite Guy Design), with more to come. Photo: Jeremy Chiu.

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Chile-garlic buttermilk bun at Viridian. Photo: Jeremy Chiu.

I am SO excited to go check out this new bar in Oakland, ~VIRIDIAN~, which is like a mymilligram neon dream bar come to life! Soon and Soon Studio (Anna Lee and Brandon Jew, of Mister Jiu’s, Moongate Lounge, and Mamahuhu) designed the space, reminiscent of Wong Kar-wai’s ChungKing Express, and 90’s graphic elements from R&B record covers.

Viridian is from William Tsui (Lazy Bear, Rich Table), Raymond Gee (Hakkasan SF), Jeremy Chiu (Shinmai, Mina Group), and Alison Kwan (Lazy Bear, True Laurel, Moongate Lounge), serving innovative, seasonal, and technique-driven cocktails, desserts, and small bites, from composed desserts to dim sum-style sweets, plus savory items by executive chef Amanda Hoang (Bird Dog) and opening consulting chef Alice Kim (Lazy Bear, Coi, The Restaurant at Meadowood). Check out the menus here, which include char siu bao, salt and pepper chicken nuggets, and coconut pandan cream pie.

Viridian additionally offers an eclectic wine list from Master Sommelier Andrey Ivanov, formerly of Lazy Bear, with a focus on small producers and a nice selection of bubbles. Viridian also strives to be a sustainable and minimum-waste establishment.

The space seats 70, with 16 seats at the bar, 10 seats in the lounge, and 10 additional seats at wall-mounted, semi-circle tables. Open Mon-Thu 4pm-12am (kitchen closes at 11pm) and Fri-Sat 4pm-late (kitchen closes at midnight); closed Sundays. 2216 Broadway at Grand, Oakland.

January 14, 2020
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The upstairs “Perch” at Nightingale. Photo via Facebook.

I’ve been admiring the disco fern bar aesthetic of ~NIGHTINGALE~ on Instagram for a few weeks, and this new bar from Future Bars (Bourbon & Branch, Pagan Idol, Local Edition, Rickhouse, The Devil’s Acre) is now open in the former Gitane in the Financial District. The two-level bar is full of ferns, cool lighting features from Ivan Lee Mora, wallpaper, and other lush touches. And Disco Punch. And here’s a fun tip: it’s open at 2pm during the week for you day drinkers. Mon-Fri 2pm-2am, Sat 6pm-2am. 239 Kearny St. at Bush.

On Wednesday January 29th, get excited for Choose Your Flavor Adventure: Winter Cocktails of the Farmers Market. Fourteen of the Bay’s best bartenders will be offering original cocktails (four full-sized signature cocktails and unlimited sample-size drinks), along with plentiful bites from local restaurants. Proceeds from this fundraising party support CUESA and the USBG. 5:30pm-8pm. San Francisco Ferry Building.