Trick Dog's Is The Bar Of The Moment | Mission, San Francisco

Ways to keep the wait to a minimum at Trick Dog

There is no getting around it: Trick Dog is the bar of the moment.

Turns out that Josh Harris, Scott Baird and Jason Henton's new spot merits all the attention it's collecting.

Arrive after 8 p.m.–earlier on weekends–and you'll spend some time outside, stamping your feet at the chance to bask in the bar's autumnal glow.

The waiting doesn't end once you've made it in. Cocktails like the Pennies From Heaven (rye, Meletti amaro, sour-apple liqueur, amontillado sherry, house bitters; $12), albeit exquisitely balanced, take time to shake.

But there are ways to shorten your time standing at the bar. Ask the bartender to pull out one of the "large-format" bottled cocktails from the cooler, along with three or four glasses. The subtly milky tang of the Buttermilk Punch ($35 for 500 ml) haunts the sweet bite of this blend of Wild Turkey, Earl Grey tea, sassafras and lemon.

The two-ingredient highballs ($8) are no throwaway, either: The gentian perfume of Moxie soda twists around the herbaceousnes of Cardamaro amaro ($8) in one, and the caraway scent of Linie Aquavit marries to the vegetal sweetness of Cel-Ray in another.

They're drinks that take years of experience to invent and 10 seconds to mix.

Trick Dog, 3010 20th St. (at Florida St.); 415-471-2999 or