Party Earth Review When longtime regulars visit Persian-themed Aub Zam Zam, they probably reminisce about former owner Bruno Mooshei, a man so famously cantankerous he’d toss a customer just for ordering a martini with vodka instead of gin... ... read full review
1633 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
N Line: Carl Street & Cole Street
M–F 3pm–2am, Sa–Su 1pm–2am
The Haight, San Francisco –
When longtime regulars visit Persian-themed Aub Zam Zam, they probably reminisce about former owner Bruno Mooshei, a man so famously cantankerous he’d toss a customer just for ordering a martini with vodka instead of gin.
The rules have relaxed since Mooshei went off to that hand-woven carpet in the sky in 2000, but while there’s less danger of getting booted for ordering the “wrong” drink these days, the dimly lit joint still looks much as it always has – a strange hybrid between an Iranian prince’s boudoir and a divey cocktail lounge.
During mellow midweek evenings, hipsters sidle up to the horseshoe bar to marvel at the beautiful mural depicting a traditional Persian fairy tale, as laid-back locals and romantic couples head through the archway to the intimate booths in back, cozying in beneath arabesque sconces that barely cast enough light for patrons to see what they’re drinking. The clientele on busy Thursday through Saturday nights, meanwhile, is usually a mixed bag of nearby UCSF med students, fedora-clad Mad Men wannabes, and bubbly college girls giggling loudly after one too many gimlets – something Mooshei never would have stood for.
Aub Zam Zam may no longer be the best place in town to learn bar etiquette the hard way, but it remains a chill haunt devoid of any pretentious airs, and a great spot for anyone to grab a solid, proper cocktail in The Haight.
Hipsters, USCF students, former hippies, current hippies, Haight Street tourists, and a few curmudgeonly old regulars, early 20s to late 40s+.
Jukebox stocked with jazz, blues, 1950s R&B, and other old-school favorites.
No food. Happy Hour M–F 3–6pm. Cash only. ATM on site.
Beer $3–$5, wine $5–$7, cocktails $4.50–$8.
Casual: shabby hipster dresses, thrift-store accessories, flannel plaids, vests, jeans, t-shirts, khakis on the tourists.
Midweek for a more mature set of relaxed locals quietly sipping away, or Thursday through Saturday nights for a rowdier college-age crowd, though it never gets as off the hook as the more youth-centric joints nearby.
Magnolia Pub and Brewery (1398 Haight Street) is a popular gastropub with turn-of-the-century décor, hearty fare like fried sausages and braised pork cheeks, and a long list of micros that are brewed right in the basement.