Laszlo Bar in the Mission; Communists Invade SF
In a neighborhood known for its plethora of Latin American shops, restaurants, street food vendors, bars, and inhabitants, Laszlo chooses to represent the other side of the globe with it’s Cold War Era Communistic theme. Normally this would seem to be a little out of place and maybe even offensive, but Laszlo executes it well. They manage to play up a theme that stands out from the rest, yet it looks and feels right at place in the Mission.
The interior space plays up an “industrial chic” atmosphere, with subtle Communist style decor. It is a fairly small space, with a long bar stretching the length of the place with tables and stools on the opposite side. In the back there is a staircase that will take you to a narrow mezzanine, which also has a private VIP seating area. If you have a large party you can reserve the mezzanine for just you and your friends. Lining the walls up in the loft is artwork from local artists, and blends well with the rest of the decor. It’s a dark and intimate space that would make a nice hangout spot, if going to a raucous dive bar isn’t on your agenda for the evening.
Nestled right between the restaurants Foreign Cinema and Medjool on Mission between 21st Street and 22nd Street, Laszlo looks like a runt compared to its heavyweight neighbors on each side. In fact, I have been to both Foreign Cinema and Medjool a number of times before even realizing there was a bar between the two. Laszlo is actually attached to Foreign Cinema, and you have to go through a door in the back to use Foreign Cinema’s bathroom.
Being attached to one of San Francisco’s more popular restaurants does have its benefits. Patrons can order appetizers, including fresh oysters, from the Foreign Cinema kitchen until 9:00pm. They also have a happy hour from 6:00-9:00pm, which features $2 Trumer Pils beer and $5 Stoli drinks. With so many cheap drinks available in neary every bar around the Mission, it’s a nice change of pace to have some quality beer and vodka without breaking the bank instead of pounding the usual PBR’s and Tecate that you can find everywhere else. The other foreign beers they offer are all very affordable as well, each being only $4, except for Chimay which is $6. They also have a menu of specialty cocktails made with quality liquor and fresh ingredients for $8 each.
On nights when it isn’t too busy, Laszlo makes for a good hangout spot perfect before getting the rest of the night underway or if you have reservations at Foreign Cinema or Medjool and have some time to kill. They have DJ’s nightly that spin different styles of music, from 80’s pop to hip hop to rock and everything else. However, when the place gets packed, it gets really packed. You probably wouldn’t want to spend your entire evening here if that’s the case, and also because they don’t have a dancefloor. I don’t know about you, but if I’m drinking at one place the whole night, I’m going to need a dancefloor to get down on!
Laszlo is definitely a cool spot and the mezzanine provides a way to scope out the scene (and search for hotties down below) without looking like some creepy stalker. With it’s proximity to many other bars and restaurants, it should be a stop on your bar hopping agenda, assuming it’s not packed like a can of sardines.
2526 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
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Tags: cold war, cold war era, communist, foreign cinema, laszlo, laszlo bar, medjool, mission, mission bar