Author Archives: Chris Cabrera

January 3, 2017

Bartender Spotlight: Troy Bayless of Holy Mountain

by Chris Cabrera

I sat down and had coffee with Troy Bayless, the co-owner and bar manager of Holy Mountain, a bar tucked upstairs from Hawker Fare restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District. Troy’s an interesting guy and I had a lot fun talking to him about what he’s been up to and what Holy Mountain is all about. I’ve always known you as the guy […]

November 28, 2016

Bartender Spotlight: Shanna Farrell of Hamlet

by Chris Cabrera

I met up with bartender Shanna Farrell, who works at Hamlet, a restaurant in Noe Valley in San Francisco. Shanna and I got together in Berkeley to talk about her work, including a book about the craft cocktail revival that she’s writing and about to put out. Without further ado, we’ll go right into the interview: […]

November 7, 2016

Bartender Spotlight: Chris Lane of Ramen Shop

by Chris Cabrera

For this installment of Bartender Spotlight, I met up with Chris Lane, Bar Manager at Oakland’s Ramen Shop. We talked about a variety of things, such as how he first got started in bartending, why Ramen Shop is so polarizing, and some of his favorite things in the world of bartending. Be sure to make it to […]

October 3, 2016

Bartender Spotlight: Will Tsui of Rich Table, Lazy Bear

by Chris Cabrera

For this edition of Bartender Spotlight, I spoke with Will Tsui, who tends bar at Rich Table in Hayes Valley and Lazy Bear in the Mission. Will lives in Oakland, in Jack London Square, where he invited me over for a cocktail on a Monday morning. He made me a Vieux Banane, a drink using […]

September 6, 2016

Bartender Spotlight: Polina Kharnas of Flora

by Chris Cabrera

For this installment of Bartender Spotlight, I headed to Flora in Uptown Oakland to chat with Polina Kharnas. We started talking casually, when I realized that there was some pretty good conversation going on, and I decided to hit record midway through: So the Bay Area is not as close knit as San Diego? San Diego’s got a […]

August 5, 2016

Bartender Spotlight: Esteban Ballesteros of Tay Ho

by Chris Cabrera

For this edition of Bartender Spotlight, we set our focus on the East Bay at Tay Ho in Downtown Oakland. Tay Ho recently brought bartender Esteban Ballesteros (who also tends bar at Bull Valley Roadhouse) on board to help revamp their cocktail program. Tay Ho is definitely a hidden gem when it comes to great Vietnamese cuisine, […]

November 24, 2014

Event Recap: 2nd Annual UMAMI MART MATSURI

by Chris Cabrera

Another summer, come and gone. Erm, another fall, come and gone. It’s starting to get chilly here in the Bay Area so I thought I would bring back some summertime warmth and celebration and blog about our 2nd annual Umami Mart Matsuri. Or as I like to (humbly) call it, Oakland’s Party of the Year. […]

July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Intro to Shochu

by Chris Cabrera

We just completed our fourth shochu talk and tasting, this time at Alchemy Bottle Shop in Oakland. What a great audience! We had a fantastic time talking to people about shochu, and thought that Washi Washino’s first blog post about shochu would be appropriate to revisit here too. Washi, Umami Mart’s resident Shochu Advisor shares […]