Unlike in New York and LA, San Francisco is currently experiencing a dearth of places where one can get sauced outdoors and at altitude. (Sorry Jones and Sens, those are more like terraces.) While Medjool's infamous roof deck hasn't seen use in about a year, it will re-open next Monday as El Techo de Lolinda — a more casual, en plein air little hermano to Lolinda downstairs.
The menu on the rooftop — which has its own kitchen — reflects Lolinda's meaty South American focus. Small plates of beef empanadas, pork quesadillas, and shrimp ceviche should make a nice compliment to the light and summery cocktail list. (The Mexican Firing Squad, made with reposado tequila, lime, grenadine and angostura, was our favorite with a nice spicy kick to it.) Housemade chicharrones are available by the pound if pork's your fancy, and various grilled meats on a stick ought to go well with the South American beer list. If you plan on skipping a long afternoon in Dolores Park for something with a cleaner bathroom, the bar is stocked with Cerveza Regla in 32 oz bottles.
As for San Francisco's temperamental weather: the roof (el techo means "the ceiling," by the way) has gotten a few upgrades since you last brought your out of town friends up there. A glass wall has gone up outside the railing to block the wind and a couple canopies have popped place, complete with built-in heaters. An employee told us they're built to withstand 150 mph winds, so if you ever feel the need to get a drink outdoors while San Francisco is in the middle of an apocalyptic storm, you'll know where to go.
Of course, the clientele can really make or break a bar's atmosphere and Medjool was loathed throughout the neighborhood as a Mission outpost for the Marina crowd that decided to venture further afield than Polk Street. Without the thumping DJ scene downstairs, the majority of people we talked to at Thursday night's preview opening seemed to think El Techo stands a chance of avoiding the crowd that everyone loved to hate on so much. Of course, things have changed in the past few years and Mission apologists have found new targets to despise, so that's still up in the air.
The elevator starts running to El Techo de Lolinda on Monday, May 13th. The roof deck will be open for dinner Sunday-Thursday until 11 p.m. and until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. On the Saturdays and Sundays, the restaurant is open all day starting at 11 a.m.
Previoulsy: Infamous Medjool Rooftop Deck Reopening In May