Sabrosa serves up sophisticated Mexican dishes and drinks
"People love their vodka sodas down here," said Stanton. "But that doesn't mean the neighborhood isn't ready to get more adventurous." Rather than create something revolutionary, he decided to elevate classic cocktails using fresh juices and house-made syrups and grenadines. Next, Stanton incorporated ingredients into the bar that Ramos used in the kitchen, allowing the drink to lead diners into their meals. The Fillmore Añejo cocktail guides your palate into spicy dishes through morita chile-infused honey. With the Macho Margarita, a jalapeño gets lit on fire, then submerged into pueblo viejo blanco, topped with fresh lime, and ringed with cracked salt.
Most of the drinks featured tequila or mezcal, the latter a distillation of agave that many people aren't yet familiar with. Most who've encountered mezcal have drunk a cheap, corn syrup-saturated variety, to which Stanton said, "you might as well stir it with your foot." (Tip: to test the quality of mezcal, shake the bottle. Bubbles should slowly turn to pearls that cling to the glass, and take a long time to disperse.) So Stanton worked on a few introductory cocktails that would warm diners up to mezcal.
Bartender Adrian Vazquez,however, swore that mezcal is best sipped on its own, the same way it's drunk in Mexican homes for mystic, medic, and aphrodisiac reasons. Vazquez first gave a salutation to the gods — "Dixeebe!" — then began our mezcal tasting.
Mezcal is made from many different types of agave (not just blue agave, where tequila begins), and is roasted for about five days. The proofs range wildly, as does each flavor. A 42 percent mezcal from an espadin agave grown in the mountains tasted smoky, floral, and pungent, while a 47.8 percent espadin tasted oily and dry from the desert air where it was grown. A third mezcal, smelling of leather, came from a white mountain agave called tobala that grew, as Vazquez put it in his soft accent, "under the shadow."
When I slipped out of Sabrosa and into the shadows that night, I couldn't decide which had impressed more: Ramos' dishes or my newfound taste for mezcal. *
Open daily, 11am-3:30pm (lunch), 5:30-11pm (dinner), bar till 2am
Weekend brunch 10am-3:30pm
3200 Fillmore, SF
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