Bar Report: The Pig and the Lady

The Pig & The Lady
83 N. King St., Chinatown; 585-8255

A cocktail with lunch? Why not, The Pig and the Lady says. We can get behind—or in front of a bar—that encourages us to drink during the day. And after. And way, way after.

The Vibe
"It's like Portland in here," says a recent Portland transplant. Quirky light fixtures (tree branch, chicken wire)—check. Mason jars for drinks—check. Repurposed material for benches (rice burlap bags) and shelves (Chinese apothecary drawers)—check. We're totally digging it.  

The Menu 
Barman Kyle Reutner, formerly of Town and Pint and Jigger, makes playful and witty drinks—"shampagne" in the Golden Pig, for example. He pulls inspiration from the kitchen, digging into its arsenal of herbs and citrus. Each service has different cocktails—enjoy a lighter drink at lunch, then return at dinner for something boozier. 

Reutner says, "If I want a banana drink that sounds crazy, [chef/owner Andrew Le] will not only let me try it, but he'll support and critique the drink until we find our perfect cocktail."

The Drinks
Reutner isn't afraid to get weird. For brunch on Saturday, try the Cobra Commander—made with avocado-infused mezcal, fresh lime, grapefruit liqueur, salt and Sriracha ice cubes. Since most of the other drinks are pretty citrusy and light, the spicy and smokey Cobra Commander might actually live up to its namesake, as the 'most dangerous' drink at brunch. 

At lunch, go bananas with the Go Bananas, a beer cocktail. It sounds odd, with banana-infused Jameson, house falernum—a spiced rum cordial with almond and lime—and hefeweizen, but it's well-balanced and works.

The Lift, Reutner's take on the old-fashioned, traps kiawe smoke in the glass to transform the drink into something new. 

The Food
I like bar snacks that are sharable, savory and quick. If you're like me, you'll love the oysters, with a kaffir lime mignonette and Red Boat fish sauce (you know fish sauce has arrived on the modern culinary scene when it has its own artisanal brand), and Laotian fried chicken. The stewed bone marrow is quite a sight—more a giant knot of bone than the neatly cleaved specimen you'll find elsewhere. When you're pau, ask for a straw and a shot. Reutner likes mezcal for its smokey spice; I prefer barrel-aged genever, a Dutch-style gin. Pour your shot into the marrow, slurp through the straw, and bask in the glory of other patrons saying you know how to live life right.  

Can't get a seat?
Bar service is limited to meal times, and the bar fills up fast. It might be easier to snag a seat Friday and Saturday late nights, with drinks and snacks available until midnight. Saturday brunch, too, tends to be more mellow.