Mezcal diehards have a new gathering place in Mezcalito, the Russian Hill bar debuting this week that focuses on the agave-based spirit. It’s from the owners of Andale Management Group, the company that operates those fast casual Mexican spots you dash to before boarding your plane at SFO. This is their first concept in the city itself, and it’s a definitive step up with mezcal-focused cocktails from bar manager Guadalupe Jaques and Oaxacan-inspired small plates created by chef Julio Aguilera (Oaxaca's El Destilado) and executed by executive chef Matt D’Ambrosi (Picco).
The cocktail lists puts mezcal to work in drinks like the barrel-aged mezcal negroni with mezcal, vermouth, and bitters and the maracuya sour with Siete Misterios mezcal, maracuya (passion fruit) puree, vanilla agave, lime juice, egg whites, and Peychauds bitters. There are also 48 mezcals to choose from by the glass, as well as a nightly happy hour from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with some price breaks.
The Oaxacan-inspired food is very seafood focused with octopus tostadas, ceviche, fish tacos, and more, but also panders to those high-selling menu favorites like a lobster roll and burger. The menu is clearly trying to appeal to everyone.
The quick turnaround from Reverb to Mezcalito is evident in the same wood-filled decor, but Architecture & Light brightened up the space, reupholstered the cushions, and added high-top tables. Mezcalito opens Wednesday, September 14 and will be open daily from 5 p.m. to 12 p.m.