929 Kitchen & Bar opened last February (2018) with a bang and has been banging ever since. This super cool, friendly hangout in the Vista pairs trendy and traditional Korean foods with industrial-vibe decor and lots of smiling faces. Walk in on any given night and you’ll see the talkative happy crowd that’s gathered there.
As far as I know, 929 is the only Asian restaurant around here with a solid craft cocktail program. Professional bartenders Corey, Jason, Nicholas and Tomi are like professional chefs…. they artfully prepare alcoholic beverages with recipes that include an impressive array of ingredients (that you don’t find in most bars). They each take pride in their work, and because they have the ability to create just about any cocktail you’ve ever heard of, they love to create unusual drinks for their most discerning guests.
Like to try something new? Their special right now is The Paladin, made with Roku Japanese Craft Gin (six botanicals), leechee liqueur, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, lemon bitters and egg white. Almost too pretty to drink, The Paladin pairs well with Korean foods that are spicy and sweet.
Corey Norrell is head bartender, and Bourbon patrons may remember him from his days there, working alongside Kat Hunter. This is Corey’s first gig as head man, and he brings lots of enthusiasm and knowledge to the job. He likes working on developing drinks that pair well with 929’s food menu. Korean food is spicy/sweet or spicy/savory, and a drink he told me about (this is one I need to get in there and try) is the SojuCello which pairs well with spicy/savory foods.
Soju is a liquor distilled in Korea from rice. It’s popular in Korea, and has a growing fan base in the United States. It’s similar to vodka except that it’s 50 proof and a little bit sweeter. It’s incredibly smooth and 929’s SojuCello is made with soju, white vermouth, lemon juice, lemon bitters and yuzu marmalade (yuzu fruit is a rare Japanese citrus fruit). I tasted the yuzu marmalade and it was the best marmalade ever.
Happy Hour at 929 Kitchen & Bar
Monday through Friday from 4pm – 6pm, try any of their specialty cocktails for 1/2 off! You also can nab draft beers for $1 off , $1 off glasses of wine, pay just $3 for a soju shooter, and $1 off soju cocktails. They are currently offering a beer and fried dumpling combo during happy hour for $8!
Beers on Tap
There is a regular rotation of eight premium craft beers at 929. The kegs are changed out frequently, so no beer sits for long. Always on pull are 2 IPA’s (the most popular type) as well as ones Corey chooses based on flavor. Usually they carry a couple of the best brewed in Columbia. He currently favors Columbia Craft and Cottontown Brew Lab. Since it’s winter, he’s carrying one stout. His favorite beers come from Stone Brewery and one of theirs is usually in the line-up. 929 doesn’t beat you up on price, and these brews range from $4 – $8.
Wine Down Wednesdays
Every Wednesday, all bottles of wine are 1/2 off at 929! Choose from a pretty awesome selection including these two lovelies: Gruner Veltliner,
an exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and a Trebbiano that pairs well with food, offering the right balance of acidity and sweetness.