Chef David Bazirgan, pastry chef Francis Ang, and bar manager Brian Means have recently reinvented the Fifth Floor restaurant in the Palomar Hotel. Giving a keen eye on current city trends including the “Twitter” culture invasion, the newly renamed Dirty Habit has been reimagined to lure the young technology professionals with smartly prepared cocktails, a cozy hip atmosphere, and a modern array of intelligent food options. On its second opening night we paid the restaurant a visit to understand how well the new vision is being executed. Below is a summary of our findings.
Ambiance / Exterior
Dirt Nap – Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, Porcini Mushroom, Lustau “Don Nuno” Oloroso Sherry, King’s Ginger Liqueur
The Barrel Aged Island Old Fashioned – Cana Brava Rum, Velvet Falernum, All Spice Dram, Angostura Bitters
chicken wings / sweet soy / chili vinaigrette
pretzel and sausage / mustard
asparagus / chorizo / smoked egg / preserved lemon
octopus / eggplant / pine nuts / cherries
bread pudding / crème fraîche / blueberries / cashew
A blind eye was given to the slow service as kitchen and staff were still going through their paces for the second opening night. Our waitress seemed schooled in cocktails as she spoke intelligently about drink ingredients and offered recommendations based on our feedback. Reflecting the depth of training, specific questions about dish ingredients and preparations were smartly answered by the bus staff.
With an influx of technology savvy 20 and 30 something residents, demand for modern cocktail lounges in the city has been on the increase. Some of these young residents are transplants from cities such as New York and Los Angeles where these chic lounges and their skyline views are plentiful. While Dirty Habit’s patio lacks a skyline view, it nailed practically everything else. The atmosphere is young, vibrant, and professional and the extensive cocktail menu is both unique and modern. The level of effort and detail in both the food and drinks made the final bill of $88 well worth the cost.