Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Best Bartender in L.A. ~ Jimmy Bradley

Now, lest Jimmy think that I’ve forsaken him for Craig… let me tell you about the best bartender in the State ~ and I can say that because San Francisco’s top bartender is on hiatus in Guatemala right now (Hi Thad… hurry home!!).

What’s a bartender for? Well, pouring you a drink is one thing, making suggestions as to what to drink is another, being patient while you deliberate is one more, making you feel beautiful and charming on top of it is the ultimate.

Point in case, last week I hooked up with Amy, on a rare trip into town, at the end of the workweek. I had driven in from Marin and noted that the holiday traffic was way backed up. Being a good pal, I called to let her know. We settled on meeting at Kezar in Cole Valley for one drink. By the time we walked in the bar, our spirits were high and she was contemplating staying in town for a gal’s night out. Now, here’s where a bartender can make or break the situation. Amy, in her charming, and usually winning, way announced “I hear you pour the best Margarita in town!” The bartender’s expression remained flat; in fact it was like we were bothering him. “Salt or no salt?” was his deadpan response. Not to be deterred, Amy came back with another cute rejoinder, but try as she did, she could not get that a**hole to crack a smile. Sure rained on our parade. We would have stayed but his company was too overwhelming.

Back to Jimmy… when Ms. D and I walked into Primitivo just two nights after our most recent visit, mostly because we simply couldn’t bear to stay away, he greeted us with an enthusiastic fist-clutching “Yes!” as if he’d been hoping all night that we’d show up. Now, that’s what makes people return time and again to their favorite haunts… being made to feel special. It doesn't matter that he has a girlfriend and we can't fantasize about him asking us out (well, we can, but what would be the point, especially when there's Craig who's single and, dare I say, more age appropriate), we're happy to bask in the glow of his boyish charm for the evening. Salut!

p.s. Primitivo is on Abbot Kinney ~ you can check out my quickie review on Yelp.