After reading a million reviews about this bar, I was totally intrigued. apparently it used to be owned by a guy named Bruno, who was notorious for kicking people out if they ordered a drink he didn’t like, or asked to have their martini served with vodka, or really for any damn reason he chose. this guy was the best bartender ever and everyone loved him. unfortunately, he passed away a few years back, so when I went to the bar a couple weeks back, there was no Bruno there. *sigh*.
walking into this bar felt like taking a step back in time. the bar itself was a very small horseshoe bar with only a few stools around it. there were a few other tiny tables, but really this place is all about sitting at the bar. I wrote earlier that the Lone Palm bar reminded me of an old movie, but this place reminded me of that even more so. light jazz was playing on the jukebox, the waiter was dressed nicely, and the place mainly served martinis. I really dug the vibe there. also, oddly enough, it also had a kind of middle eastern feel to it too.
I’ve never really drank martinis, but decided that I should give it a shot since I was here. it’s great when you can just give the bartender free reign to make whatever they please and they invent something great for you. I hate it when you ask the bartender to recommend something, and they can’t be bothered to choose a drink for you or be creative at all. the bartender at Aub Zam Zam whipped up a special martini for us made from Hendrick’s gin, which is infused with rose petals and cucumbers. she also added cucumber garnish and some other stuff and the drink was really good… super refreshing. Later in the evening, we overheard her mention the “Hillary special”. when we asked what that was, she said it changes from time to time, and we decided to go for it. she ended up making us two completely different drinks, one of them a sour one similar to a sidecar, and the other one was some crazy chocolate concoction. both were super good.
there was really something about this place that makes me want to go back. I so wish this could be my local neighborhood bar…
Aub Zam Zam is at 1633 Haight Street in San Francisco