Now open with a dramatic new dining room (who knew there was so much space?), the Burritt Room bar is mostly like you remember it. Some light refinishing, new sound system, much improved bathrooms, and high tables by the entrance enhance the space, but not as much as the cocktails by Josh Trabulsi and Seth Laufman.
The pair balances out a nice mix of house creations and lesser-known classics like Mamie Taylor ($12, blended scotch, ginger beer, lime), the Old Pal ($12, rye whiskey, dry vermouth, Campari), and Knickerbocker ($12, rum, orange curacao, raspberry syrup, lemon) that was purportedly invented by Jerry Thomas at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco on 1862. Though the classics never feel out of place here, it's the house specialties showcase the creativity of Trabulsi and Laufman.
Like a hard drinking gumshoe, the Smokin' Hops ($12, mezcal, Licor 43, lemon, Lagunitas IPA) offers no apologies. The smoky, hoppy, and funky aromas from the combination of the mezcal and the IPA immediately hit like a left hook. The drink has a pleasing light fizz and tang, which ends dry with herbal bitterness from the beer and the citrus-spice of the Licor 43. Pair it up with a Brigid O'Shaughnessy ($12, rhum agricole, cognac, falernum, lime, grenadine), and invoke some film noir exploits. But don't say we didn't warn you: just stay out of the alley.
Burritt Room, 417 Stockton (at Sutter), inside Mystic Hotel, 400-0500