Bourbon & Beef
5634 College Ave., Rockridge
Phone: (510) 788-4821
Its name may imply old-school steakhouse dining, but Rockridge's new Bourbon & Beef is actually more of a Latin fusion restaurant. Chef Munther Massarweh's family is from SF by way of Jordan, but he grew up on a farm in El Salvador, and has brought his childhood experiences to bear on dishes like Marcona almond-crusted shrimp cakes with coconut-mango chutney, cilantro-crusted fried smelt, and a chile relleno with mole and jalapeño cream. Of course, you can also have the titular beef, in dishes like duck bacon-wrapped filet with bourbon demiglace and a grilled ribeye with roasted shishito peppers and chimichurri. Here's the full dinner menu.
On the drinks side, cocktails mostly run to simple riffs on Latin classics like the Cuba Libre and caipirinha, and there's a global selection of wine that spans France, Italy, Argentina, Spain, and South Africa. The former Water Lounge space is modern and chic, with a glass-backed bar, stone walls, leather stools, and a big communal table. Hours are Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-10 pm and Thursday-Saturday, 11 am-12 am, with weekend brunch from 11 am-3 pm.