I love Toki Underground. Super cute, great location, delicious vegan ramen, and they keep hours that suit me – which is to say, I can sit and eat a totally respectable dinner at ten on Tuesday and it is no big deal. Should you want something to drink with your ramen and dumplings (or to sip on while you wait for a seat) they have a list of sakes and unusual Asian beers – and they also mix up some interesting and tasty cocktails.
Last Friday, a friend and I slipped in (this was after first bar, first party, and second bar, but before second party and third bar, for those keeping track) for some warm delicious bowls of broth. We were greeted super warmly and were tucked into bar-stools at one of the front windows in short order. My friend ordered a tokkuri of hot sake to go with the warming-up concept of the whole thing (first party had been outdoors, you see, and chilly) but I opted for the Blackened Gold off the inventive cocktail menu.
I love pisco, though I drank relatively little of it this summer, which I believe to be the traditional pisco-drinking season. That is part of what makes the Blacked Gold so clever – it takes pisco and pineapple which are such hot-weather staples, but makes them into something for all year-round by brûléeing the pineapple cubes so they get caramelized blackened bits on the edges, and adding spice with cinnamon-cayene syrup and depth from chocolate bitters to the drink. The result is a drink with a fun, playful personality, but still serious about being delicious.