photography by Stefanie Michejda
Last week I attended a fellow Capricorn’s birthday party at Martuni’s (4 Valencia St., 415-241-0205) and—this just in—discovered I loved Martuni’s. I guess it’s not that much of a shock: I love martinis, finding the letter ‘u’ in unexpected places and pretty much anything retro-kitsch so why it took me this long to get there in the first place is itself a bit of a mystery.
While it’s obvious that the piano bar vibe plus the expertly crafted martinis and Haunted Mansion atmosphere add up to an entirely pleasant drinking experience, what I didn’t realize was that this just may be one of the most perfect places to celebrate one’s birthday. The proximity to the Mint makes for an ideal late night transition, and should you find yourself an early bird arrival it’s no problem! Cozy up at a corner table and marvel at the piano man’s versatility: On this night, said performer pulled off a truly postmodern feat: covering Counting Crows’ cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” How, you might ask, did I know he was covering Counting Crows’ rendition and not the original? Because this Rat Pack-meets-soft rock innovator incorporated an Adam Duritz–approved beat machine to turn things up a bit. Now that’s entertainment.