Throw back a cocktail at Scala's while shopping 

Scala’s Bistro: Everyone’s heard a little ol’ expression about how when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. But what about when the shopping gets tough, what do the tough do then? Well, they go drinking, of course. If and when the terror of knowing that there are never too many shoes a person can try on when it comes to DSW or the second floor of Macy’s, take a deep breath and simply stroll up the block to Scala’s Bistro, adjacent to the Sir Francis Drake. That’s where you’ll find bartender Facundo Gomez. He can help you. He knows what to do. For 3½ years Gomez has served tourists and locals alike who can’t get enough of the restaurant’s elegant and cozy interior, or its amazing cocktail menu. 432 Powell St., San Francisco, (415) 395-8555,

How long have you been bartending? 16 years.

Wow! Why did you start when you were 14? Aw. Quit it. I’m over 40 now.

No way! Where are you from? Originally from Texas, but I grew up in Seattle.

So you have the most amazing schedule of only having to work four days a week. What do you do with your off time? Running, working out. I like to hit other restaurants and other bars to see what they’re doing.

What are some bars or restaurants that you’re kind of hot on right now? I love the Peruvian restaurant down here [La Mar]. Their happy hour is awesome too. All of their appetizers are $5. I have a couple of places out in the Mission.

Where do you live? I live in Twin Peaks, but I love going to the Mission ... Casanova Lounge, Elbo Room. Elbo Room is probably one of my favorites, especially on music nights.

If you are going to have a cocktail, what do you order? I love flavored vodkas. I like mojitos, too — I don’t always enjoy making them, especially when I’m in the thick of it, but I love mojitos. We used to have a Raspberry mojito that had a little drizzle of Chambord.

If you could serve a drink to anyone, who would it be? I’d like to serve 007 a nice martini ... and I’ll shake it too.

What’s the strangest drink request you’ve ever had? There was a guy that was drinking, seriously, it was on the rocks, Grey Goose. And then he asked for a Heineken, and then he poured the Heineken over the vodka. So he was drinking vodka Heineken. I watched him do it.

Since Scala’s does cater to a lot of tourists, have you observed any drinking patterns among people who are from a certain part of the world or the U.S.? Europeans, when they come up and ask for it, they say they want a martini. They don’t say Martini Rosso. So I start making a martini and they say “No, no, no. Martini.” They want sweet vermouth on the rocks.

Elderflower Gimlet
- 3 oz. Belvedere vodka
- 1½ oz. St. Germaine
- Elderflower liqueur
- Squeeze of lime

Shake ingredients together over ice, strain and serve straight up in a martini glass.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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