Pacific Cocktail Haven
A huge thanks to @BradFord @ipsedixit @beefnoguy @robert @PorkyBelly @SFDiner @JonDough and everyone for the Bar recommendations. We ended up at P.C.H. (or Pacific Cocktail Haven) since it was the closest to where we were.
Apologies for no pictures of the drinks, it was super dark in there, as if the only lighting came from the singular neon sign for “P.C.H.”
Thankfully the drinks were fantastic!
OH Snap! (Sipsmith Gin, Sugar Snap Peas, Manzanilla Sherry, Absinthe, Citrus, Tonic):
OH Snap! is right. This was such a good way to start the evening. Wonderfully balanced, not too boozy and I loved the pairing of Manzanilla Sherry, Absinthe, a touch of Citrus and the Gin.
Ninth Ward (Espolon Reposado Tequila, Palo Cortado Sherry, Banana, Bitters):
The Ninth Ward was also quite well balanced, with the Espolon Reposado Tequila being present, but not overpowering the drink. It really tasted of Bananas, and then the more complex sweetness of the Sherry balanced with the Bitters. Really enjoyable Cocktail.
Thrilla in Manila (Evan Williams Bourbon, Shiso, Calamansi, Coconut, Absinthe, Li Hing Mui):
Seriously? 3/3, the Thrilla in Manila was so tasty! I normally can’t handle Bourbon by itself, but this was another balanced drink, being tropical, but tasting so fresh (not synthetic / artificial). The Bourbon was mellowed out by the Shiso Leaf, Calamansi citrus-y notes, the Coconut (for some creaminess) and the Li Hing Mui (which I looked up and it said it’s called Huamei in Chinese?).
This reminded me of Cocktail Maestro Julian Cox’s drinks (almost), easily some of the best Cocktails we’ve had in the past year (which is not hard considering L.A. lost Julian and most of his disciples recently).
I think I had a 4th Cocktail but I forgot what it was.
We wanted to move on and try Comstock or Trick Dog as many of you recommended, but one of our friends had to flip to the back page of the menu and call our attention to…
Yes, they had large Punch Bowls, and with P.C.H. having the feel of a Tiki Lounge (sorta), we decided, “Why not?” Famous last words…
Pimm’s Punch (Pimm’s, Beefeater Gin, Strawberries, Cucumber, Mint, Ginger Beer):
I wish my picture of this monstrosity came out right because this was like the Claim Jumper of Cocktail drinks.
Costing “only” $80 for this Cocktail, the menu said it could serve up to 8 people with 1 Bowl.
It was gargantuan! Everyone at our table exerted a gasp, as did the table next to us, LOL.
The positive side is that it tasted pretty good, and was balanced. It was a touch on the sweet side, but not in a bad, old-school terrible cocktail bar-way, but rather it just had a bit too much sugar from all various sources.
That was as far as I remember, and due to this silliness we didn’t make it to any of the other bars, but next time!
Overall, Pacific Cocktail Haven (P.C.H.) Bar was a lot of fun, with a great retro soundtrack. Finding a table was hard (it was over 100% capacity with lots of people standing around), but we eventually got a table for all of us. Their Cocktails have more interesting, exotic ingredients, but are all well-balanced and not overly boozy. We can’t wait to go back.
Pacific Cocktail Haven (P.C.H.)
580 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 398-0195