May 11, 2017

Celebrating Women Producers: Jennifer Colliau of Small Hand Foods

by Kayoko Akabori

Jennifer Colliau is one of Bay Area’s greatest bartenders. To use words such as “smart,” “talented,” or “creative” seem to undermine her qualities. Rather, she is a force in the industry — ambitious, yet down to earth; knowledgable, yet curious; confident, yet humble. Her mind is a sponge; she lights up when talking about cocktail history […]

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, […]

August 18, 2014

BARTENDER (バーテンダー)

by Kayoko Akabori

Meet Ryu Sasakura, a dashingly handsome, deeply empathetic, incredibly talented bartender, back in Tokyo after a short stint in Paris. So starts off the captivating J-drama, BARTENDER, which aired in Japan in 2011 for a short eight episodes. I watched them all in a week, I could not stop! After being dismissed from his glamorous […]