How is it that until now, I was unaware of such a fabulous establishment? Thankfully I seem to be meeting the right people to introduce me to the right places.
Big 4, not to be confused with Big 5, is a uniquely inviting destination of true old-school San Francisco. If you really know the city, you probably already appreciate this highlight of the Huntington Hotel on Nob Hill. From the welcoming and jovial piano player, to the generous stools around the elegant wood bar, to… most of all… a huge and amazing dose of city history, Big 4 is a rich experience to be had, certainly more than once.
The history of which I speak is a blown-up photographic mural of the city, along an entire back wall of the restaurant. Everything… the homes, the buildings, the various stages of development around town… can be seen in fascinating detail. The year: 1878. As you can guess, most everything we see in the mural was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906. Be sure your drink is full as you head for your viewing, because like me, you may want to stay a while. This is, quite literally, a big piece of history.
Speaking of drinks, one strike against Big 4 is the martini stemware. My manhattan was surprisingly and disturbingly small. Perhaps this is just another old-school element of the establishment, in line with the rest. Still, I would hope the bar decides to come up a notch in martini size before too long.
I will definitely be returning to Big 4 for dinner very soon, for further history absorption and in spite of the drink size. I recommend you pay a visit as well. The antelope on the menu sounds absolutely delicious!