Currently in soft-opening mode with the official opening this Thursday Nov 17th is Azucar Lounge, brought to you by Jon Ojinaga, formerly the beverage then food/beverage manager of the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel.
The space is the former Shadow Lounge (and several other bars before it) location at Ninth Street and Folsom in SOMA, San Francisco. The corner cantina is outfitted for comfort, with lots of sofas and plush chairs for seating. There is a small room with a another couch off to the side that can be reserved for parties of 20 or so people. There is a standing counter and it looks like a fair amount of room to handle a crowd should they descend upon Auzar en masse.
The bar itself seats about eight people, so there are servers fetching food and drinks for everyone else. Ojinaga said he got the idea to create a place where food was inexpensive and offered late in this neighborhood, because there are no options other than bad pizza and hot dog carts for the hordes of drinkers passing through to the bars and clubs.
The most expensive item on the food list is ceviche for $7. They serve a small selection of "perros calientes" (hot dogs), tacos, and appetizers like quesadillas and hot queso blanco. I enjoyed the quesadilla with zucchini and the potato tacos, and the mini-churros are a must-order.
To wash that down, there are just five alcoholic cocktails on the menu. Their Margarita includes sweet chili peppers. The Perlas de la Amazonia contains Veev, spiced rum, lemon, and coconut water. I thought I'd hate it but it was creamy and bright. The Peruvian Chia contains pisco and a chia seed (yes, as in Chia Pet) brittle as garnish, and is light and refreshing.
The only drink served up is the Desde Russia con Amor, a vodka drink with beet syrup, lemon juice, and chocolate bitters on top. It's served with a skewer of goat cheese and beet squares for garnish. I like the interplay of beet and chocolate.
I also enjoyed the Yerba Buena, made with gin, lime, and kombucha, with a rosemary sprig garnish. In general the drinks include some unusual ingredients to appeal to the adventurous drinker, while being relatively simple in flavor profile to not alienate the non-cocktail snobs.
The full drink menu is below.