Tucked away on a terrace on the second level at Yerba Buena Gardens holds one of San Francisco's best kept outdoor drinking and dining secrets, B Restaurant and Bar. Well, okay, maybe not entirely secret, since its $1 oysters and drink specials during the 4:30 to 7 p.m. happy hour bring in the crowds of young professionals from SOMA.
The expansive patio overlooking the gardens deserves accolades, as do bar manager Marjan Simovics' cocktails. With a list that straddles the line between approachable and interesting, it's the complex sounding bourbon and berry ($9, bourbon, Cabernet Sauvignon, vermouth di torino, lemon, maple syrup, Angostura bitters) that stands out. I was initially skeptical, but intrigued by list of ingredients that my brain simply couldn't make sense of. Because of the oak in the bourbon and Cabernet, the wood sugars in the maple, and the spices of the vermouth, the drink actually blooms with fruit instead of bark. It has a delicate viscosity, light sweetness, and lots of blackberry and spice flavors, perfect for the patio and some of chef Hector Diaz's satisfying fare.
B Restaurant and Bar, 720 Howard (at Fourth St.), 495-9800