Update: November 29, 8:05 a.m.: This event was canceled due to COVID-19.
Viridian — Oakland’s go-to bar for powerful cocktails, coconut-pandan cream pie, and Instagrammable char siu bao — is playing host to a pop-up bar at the end of November. Noche Buena, a “Fil-Am Christmas bar,” is coming to Broadway on November 28 and 29 for two nights of Filipino-inspired drinks and dishes. The installation comes from New York-based company 4 Wheel Tricycle; the outfit just worked with Thunderbolt in Los Angeles for a November 21 and 22 installation.
Strings of Christmas lights, songs familiar to any celebrant of Paskong Pinoy, and even Jolibee mugs will descend on Viridian during the two-day pop-up. All the fare is inspired by pieces of the Filipino American diasporic experience; one of the cocktails invokes melon ice candy, the kind “made by your favorite tita,” and another is made with Kopiko instant coffee. Last year at one of the events, Noche Buena roasted an entire pig to pick apart throughout the affair. The owners of the company identify as Pinoy themselves, too. Viridian is no stranger to hosting pop-ups; Red Envelope took over for the month of January last year in honor of Lunar New Year and will return again in 2023.
Since its opening in February 2020, Viridian continues to be one of the East Bay’s favorite hangouts for industry folk and fans of top-tier drinks and desserts. William Tsui, formerly of Lazy Bear, Hotel Nikko, Rich Table, and True Laurel, brings expert experience as head of the beverage program. Executive chef Kevin Tang, who cooked under Brandon Jew and runs popular Vietnamese pop-up Claws of Mantis, cooks a range of decadent food from duck coquettes to lamb cumin wontons. Pastry chef Vince Soriano Bugtong, formerly of Mourad, makes treats, including the Thai tea boba bowl and guava sorbet, that seem to have materialized from sweet figments of a dream. That goes for one of the newest additions on the menu, the sesame cream and milk chocolate cremeux with brownie adorned with cocoa nib Pop Rocks. Noche Buena, with its cream-laden ube cocktails, should feel right at home.
Noche Buena will be at Viridian from 5 p.m. until close on November 28 and 29.