When an out of town friend stopped by I was delighted to take her sightseeing in the oldest part of town, touring cathedrals and cable cars all around Nob Hill before wandering down to Comstock Saloon at the crossroads of North Beach and China Town (not that any excuse is needed to share a cocktail with a friend, but strolling up and down San Francisco’s steepest hills can be thirsty business). I’d only ever been to this establishment in the dark before, but as it turns out during the day light floods in to a charming alcove off the main bar room; with high ceilings, gorgeous wallpaper and detailing, and where the soup of the day is always whiskey. This is the kind of watering hole where you always want to leave your fate in the hands of the bartender — never order from a menu. I requested something spirt-forward with a touch of sweetness, while Diane went with a grapefruit and bourbon pairing. As our bespoke cocktails were shaken up (or in my case stirred) we crept next door to check out the main room in the quiet daytime — a tribute to SF’s gold-miner heritage, with antique lighting and fans, a dark but gleaming old bar with built-in vintage seating, and even a statue of Emperor Norton looking down over all his subjects. Back in the lunch bar we toasted our glasses to the indulgence of daytime drinking; a rarity for ladies who work as much as ourselves, but often a necessity, especially on a Thursday.