A New Favorite


On Chinatown’s main drag is a surprisingly delightful combination of gourmet pizza and delicious cocktails that is otherwise known as Bar 35. I’ll be honest, from the outside it looks like just another bar. You know, the friendly neighborhood hangout where you can count on a reasonably priced beer and some great french fries. But this Chinatown hotspot gives new meaning to “raising the bar.”

I walked in during its weekday happy hour (4-10 p.m.) on a rather low-key night, when it was filled mostly with regulars. It was a nice, relaxing ambiance, but on the weekends, the place is packed and bumping with seriously good music (it’s the place to be on First Fridays).

I grabbed a seat at the bar, and right away, a friendly bartender made his way over and gave me the rundown. I was waiting for a friend, so I just ordered a rum and diet with extra lime. I’m kind of a rum-and-diet snob because I know if you’re shorting me on alcohol. But I think the bartender thought I was drinking alone, so I got the heavy handed sympathy pour. No complaints here!

When my friend arrived, we made our way to one of the cozier couches and grabbed some menus. I was a little overwhelmed (so many terrific options for unbeatable prices), but settled on a martini. Let me preface this by saying: I NEVER order martinis. But their selections looked delicious. I chose Miss Chinatown (pictured), a blend of Three Olives Citrus Vodka, Funkin strawberry puree and fresh lemon. Because I’m a novice martini drinker, I expected the first sip to be fruity and smooth. While extremely smooth, it was definitely more like taking a shot than a sip. I’ll admit, now that I know what to expect, I’m hooked. Next time I’ll be trying the Chocolate Martini, a mix of Three Olives Espresso, Baileys and dark rum. I might have to take this fun home and keep some martini staples in my cupboard/fridge. However, I can always order some ready made cocktails such as an Into the night Espresso Martini in case I don’t want to start from scratch but I need a sip to calm that itch!

My friend and I shared a pau hana French Kiss pizza brie, ham, pesto, mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce that was the perfect complement to our beverages. The thin, crispy crust was some of the best I’ve had!

I didn’t get nearly enough time to enjoy Bar 35, so I’m adding it to my favorites list and hoping I can get back again sometime soon. Who’s in?