March 10, 2012

Emeryville: Honor Bar, Grill & Cocktails; restaurant review

Bucket o' Yard Birds at Honor Kitchen in Emeryville, California
Bucket o' Yard Birds at Honor Kitchen in Emeryville, California

80 North

Honor Kitchen & Cocktails  1411 Powell St./Hollis St., (510) 653-8667. No reservations. D Tu-Sat; $$. Free off-street private parking.

Where should you go when you’ve had a depressing day and you’re too down to cook? Why, here! Featuring a cozy, noisy roadhouse atmosphere, this casual spot will serve you up an unusual cocktail and satisfying meal. Diners seat themselves at the red-top bar--where everyone eventually shows up to place their order--but also at a choice of mostly communal high tables with stools that surround the bar. Drinks include complex cocktails such as a Guy Fawkes (gin, PX sherry, Amaro Montenegro, maraschino, acid phosphate, and absinthe) and a Bleeding Monarch (bourbon, passion fruit, orgeat, Campari, and balsamico amaro) as well as help-yourself-beers from an ice-filled bucket--you’re on the honor system to pay for them. The menu is short, but includes essentials such as BBQed Texas Mop Pork Ribs (they’re short but fall-off-the-bone tender and come with a side of cold macaroni salad just like grandma used to make), Short Rib Sliders, and a Bucket o' Yard Birds (fried chicken). Do order a side of sweetish house-pickled vegetables or a deep-fried artichoke as an appetizer. Antsy? A pinball machine awaits in a corner.

Bloody Mary topped with a salad at Honor Kitchen in Emeryville, California
Bloody Mary topped with a salad at Honor Kitchen in Emeryville, California
Weekend brunch was recently added, so now you can drag in here after a hard night and cheer yourself up with a menu that includes a trendy fried chicken and waffle with blueberry chipotle syrup, an eggs Benedict made with seared pork belly and tomato relish, and a vegetarian-friendly mushroom frittata.  Many items come with “taters,” which are way oversized tater tots that are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside and very good.  Sharing, you might have room for the tempting giant bourbon-pecan sticky bun or ricotta beignets with chocolate and berry sauces, but for sure you’ll be able to make room for the delicious crisp and warm sausage biscuit with honey butter.  As in the evening, drinks are interesting and varied, but one of the four different Bloody Marys is an easy choice (they come topped with a little salad of perhaps asparagus, cornichon, and cocktail onion).  A house punch or Painkiller #2 should also be considered, or perhaps a carafe of fresh orange juice and a bottle of sparkling wine for make-your-own mimosas.  And so that you don’t need to face the glare of morning light, they keep the Venitian blinds drawn shut, and music is hard rock-style but not too loud,

More things to do in Emeryville.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2012 & 2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
updated 2-3-18

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