Lark Creek Steak bartender learned from the best 

The only thing better than catching a movie after work is catching a movie after work and after happy hour. That’s just one of the things that’s so awesome about Lark Creek Steak, one of the upscale eateries underneath the historic dome inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre. Happy hour includes half-priced appetizers, $4 beers, $6 Svedka vodka cocktails and $5 pours of wine. That is where we sat down with bartender Jason LeCroy, who has been serving farm-fresh cocktails at the restaurant since it opened in 2007. With watermelon coming into season, that means he’ll be whipping up his watermelon mint martini (he creates his own sweet and sour that uses lemon and lime, fresh watermelon juice and vodka, with a cayenne pepper rim to give it a little kick). 845 Market St., Fourth Floor, San Francisco, (415) 593-4100

How’d you get into bartending? At 16, I worked for a pub pouring beers.

Really, that’s interesting. Well, we weren’t really pouring beers per se; we were cleaning and we were making pizzas. Anyway, that led me to bartending. There’s a guy in Concord who owned a place called TR’s Bar and Grill, Mark DeSaulnier. He’s now District 13 state senator. One day, I just looked in there and saw that he was hiring for bartenders and I had just gone to school for all that and did a bunch of wine management classes. The significant thing about that is Mark DeSaulnier and Harry Denton were two of the bartenders at Henry Africa’s that were on the cover of Time magazine. So, basically I learned everything I knew from him, which was sort of the same concept we have here: freshness of ingredients and high-quality liquors.

Since you learned from one of the best, what’s the best lesson you learned from Mark DeSaulnier? The best lesson I learned from Mark was to use both hands. When I first started with him, I was very green at making cocktails, and we were really busy. We had this thing on Sundays that we had blues bands going on and all the small motorcycle clubs would show up, and it would just be a packed house, and I would constantly use one hand. One day, he comes up to me and says, “Kid, you gotta use both hands.” I never thought of it that way. So I started using both hands and doing little bottle tricks and pouring in the sodas at the same time and really picked up my speed. We don’t pour that way here anymore because of the preciseness of cocktails ... we use a lot of measuring cups now because the recipes are so complex, they need to be proportioned well.

If you’re going to have a cocktail, what will you order? I would probably order a Midleton with a splash of water. It’s John Jameson’s rarest whiskey.

If you could serve a drink to anyone, who would it be? Frank Sinatra.


Hendricks Afternoon

 

  • 1½ oz. Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 oz. cucumber water*
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup


Add ingredients to a Boston shaker, add ice, shake and strain into a Collins glass over ice. Garnish with long cucumber slice.

*Cucumber water is made by juicing peeled cucumber and straining the resulting juice (water).

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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