Friday night we went to The Bar Downstairs at Andaz. Ana and April came straight from work (yes, they work crazy hours in New York City), and I had just arrived after my trip to New Jersey.
I had the Penicillin cocktail, which was decorated with what I thought was dried pineapple but turned out to be dried ginger. We also had different kinds of small plates to share, and I was really impressed with the food, which was a lot better than bar food usually is. The Rock Shrimp was like Spanish Gambas Al Ajillo. It was a generous serving with lots of piping hot garlic-infused oil to dip the bread in. That dish was just perfect. Don’t think you’ll find it better in Spain. The Shishito peppers and the kale salad, which I forgot to take photos of, were also delicious.
If you just walk by Andaz you would never guess that there is a huge, hidden bar in the basement, so even though Andaz is in a rather touristy area, you won’t find many tourists at The Bar. Instead, the crowd is a rather homogenous mix of people working in the office buildings nearby, grabbing a drink after work. I liked the layout with the communal table, but the acoustics are not the best. Though if you’re sitting close and you are a small group of friends, it is not a problem to have a conversation. When we were there Friday night, people started heading home around 9pm, but Ana told me that during the week, people are usually staying longer.