By Melanie Warner 

I jumped at the chance to visit San Francisco recently. I was there during Chinese New Year and was able to enjoy a theme night that can be offered to anyone visiting the city.

For this particular celebration, there was a grand parade through downtown with many merchants participating. E&O Asian Kitchen is a spectacular Modern Asian restaurant with an eclectic ever-changing menu nestled in the heart of Union Square. On this particular night, they had a wonderful menu prepared with seductive, snake inspired dishes and cocktails from Chef Sharon Nahm and Bar Manager Carlos Yturria. Some of these items are available upon request if they are in season and some are on the menu with variations.

For appetizers, we enjoyed delicacies like the dungeness crab dumplings with green curry broth and coconut oil. Next, it was braised pork belly (a popular San Francisco dish) with sticky rice and wrapped in a lotus leaf. Then we tried “long life noodles” with snake beans, hon shimeiji mushrooms (which means they are highly esteemed) chilies, and soy. My personal fave was the crispy taro fritters with sesame curry dipping sauce.

The cocktails were equally “intoxicating”. The Bitter Bite consisted of Campari, kumquats, lemon juice, agave nectar and ginger beer. The Serpent’s Tail blended kappa pisco, huckleberry compote, lemon and sage. Kappa Pisco is a Chilean brandy processed from Muscat grapes from the makers of Grand Marnier (or Grand Ma, as I lovingly call it). The Snake’s Creed mixed Evan Williams house select bourbon, luxardo maraschino cherry liquor, and Campari. Now c’mon – how could you not be intrigued with those ingredients? They have incredible mixologists at the bar who love to concoct new recipes and pairings for just about any reason – or season for that matter.

The night finished off with a traditional Chinese lion dance performance – and me doing the “happy food dance” from all of the cultural pairings of epicurean curiosities and libations.

Whether you are there for a special celebration, date night, or a business meeting – they never disappoint. Cheers!

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Melanie Warner (aka Wander Woman) is a travel and lifestyle journalist with over 3 million monthly readers.  To read other travel articles and reviews, visit: