Get ready to be totally transported by Realm of the 52 Remedies, which is set to make a splash in Kearny Mesa with a soft rollout next week followed by open reservations starting Monday, December 10. A new cocktail bar companion to Common Theory (accessible through a door inside the Convoy Street beer hub), the intimate 45-seat speakeasy adds a serious drinking destination to one of the city’s best dining neighborhoods.
The immersive experience starts in the entryway, where reservation-holders will step into a gleaming white space staged like an apothecary from the future; inspired by an ancient manuscript of recipes, or remedies, for health that’s said to have been the basis for modern Chinese medicine, it features shelves stocked with herbs and tonics and a small shrine dedicated to Kwan Yin, the legendary Chinese goddess. A sliding door will serve as a portal to the past, transporting guests into an opulent drinking den that could double as a set piece for Crazy Rich Asians, with dramatic elements that include a giant lotus-shaped booth, a glowing jade bar, and overhead cloud sculptures. Behind this fantastic feast for the senses is Michael Soriano (Queenstown, Vin de Syrah), who says that he wanted to incorporate the Chinese and Korean heritage of owners Cris Liang and Joon Lee into the design and bring something never-before-seen to the local bar scene.
The drinks were spearheaded by Chris “Dong Kyu” Lee, a veteran bartender who also works at Bar Old Fashioned in Seoul, once nominated as Korea’s best cocktail bar. Featuring Asian flavors and ingredients, the list includes Tears of a Dragon, an old fashioned variation inspired by traditional Korean cinnamon tea, Farewell My Concubine which combines vodka with a custom Nostrum shrub made with Asian pear, oolong tea, and ginger, and the Jade Empress which features green tea, banana liqueur, lemon, cream cheese foam, and Ming River baijiu, a classic Chinese spirit. A special four-seat “Emperor’s bar” will have its own dedicated bartender who will guide guests through the cocktail menu and offer exclusive access to a collection of premium spirits. There will also be snacks available, including shrimp, lotus root, and taro chips, sunchokes and Chinese green beans with XO sauce, and crab croquettes.
Common Theory will also be getting in on the cocktail action. The beer bar is planning to add four draft cocktails to its tap list. For reservations, call 858-256-0441 or email: email@example.com.