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Home / Articles / Eats / Cocktail Tales /  Polite Provisions is an adult soda shop
. . . .
Monday, Feb 25, 2013

Polite Provisions is an adult soda shop

North Park bar is the latest addition to Arsulan Tafazoli's cocktail empire

By Kelly Davis
cocktailsforweb The Brave Companion (right) and Casual Encounter
- Photo by Kelly Davis

Last Friday, I dragged my husband to Polite Provisions (4696 30th St. in North Park) around 8:30ish, hoping to squeeze in. Ha! Open for less than a week, the place was packed. Silly us. We returned at around 4 p.m. Sunday and pretty much had our choice of tables.

Polite Provisions is the newest venture by Arsalun Tafazoli (Neighborhood, Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, Underbelly). Tafazoli's done well in giving each of his bars and restaurants its own distinct feel. The  theme here is old-school soda fountain, and it stops just short of being kitschy. The spot was formerly the dark, divey nightclub Kadan, and Tafazoli came in and carved out windows and a large skylight to make the space open and bright. There are no TVs, the music (old-school R&B) is at a good volume and there’s powdered soap in the bathroom. 

Only drinks are served at Polite Provisions, including cocktails, cocktails on draft, craft beer and house-made sodas. If you want food, step over to the adjoining Soda & Swine (also Tafazoli’s) to place your order; it’ll be brought to your table.

I started with a Brave Companion (bourbon, lemon, crème de cacao, vanilla gomme) and made the husband order a Casual Encounter (London dry gin, strawberries, Rita’s Rose Petal soda), one of the cocktails on draft. I had high hopes for the Brave Companion, described as “deep vanilla & fresh citrus that lead to subtle notes of chocolate.” The citrus undermined the vanilla, and the chocolate was a little too subtle. Don’t get me wrong—it was still a good cocktail. I initially found the Casual Encounter too sweet, but food—Brussels sprouts and fried pizza balls; thumbs-up to both—mellowed it out.

Our next round was better. He got the Attorney Privilege (bourbon, orgeat, lemon and bitters); I opted for the Ocean Side (London dry gin, lime juice, mint, celery bitters and a pinch of sea salt). These were the kind of drinks we’d been hoping for— complex and different. The Ocean Side was like a savory gimlet, with the sea salt highlighting the celery bitters, while the orgeat (a sweet almond syrup) turned the Attorney Privilege into something akin to a boozy, bright Thai iced tea without being overly sweet.

If crowds aren’t your thing, go to Polite Provisions on a weekday or when it opens at 4 p.m. For the time being, that’s my plan. 


Email kellyd@sdcitybeat.com or follow her on Twitter at @citybeatkelly.


A previous version of this story misspelled Arsalun Tafazoli's name. We apologize for the error.




 
 
 
 
 
 
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