The soft opening of the new Jing-A Taproom runs from Friday, August 30, to the grand opening on September 6, with beers and draft cocktails at 元 10 off, daily from 11 AM to midnight, and later on Friday and Saturday.
Expect 32 taps, 26 for beer and 6 for cocktails. Try them all in one night! Also expect some boozy punch options a little later on.
The food focus is thin-crust sourdough pizzas, with eight choices. There is also fried chicken, cheeseburgers, salads, cheese platters and more.
Okay, that pizza. Take a look at it. It looks a bit thick, no?
I asked Richard Ammerman, Jing-A’s head marketing guy / chief punch maker, and he described it as “what you’d get at some American place doing a riff on Italian pizza.” That evokes happy thoughts of a pizza that merges the best of Bottega and Pie Squared.
Anyway, head chef Simone Thompson came down on the correct side of the pineapple debate: the Big Island BBQ pizza has roast pork, fermented pineapple and Lao Gan Ma sauce.
(Here’s a tip for you home cooks . Find your spaghetti sauce a tad bland? Stir in a spoon of Lao Gan Ma for extra flavor and bite.)
I popped by the new Jing-A to check out its test run last Friday and drink baijiu with co-owner Kristian Li. (Taizi baijiu, from New Zealand, good but strong.) You’ll find the place near Dongsi Station, close to the local We Works, with Susu nearby and Capital Spirits a bit further on. This is a dank lit smothered-in-awesome-sauce gentrifying slice of the city but rest assured it’s safe for those who simply want to drink beer and guzzle pizza.
What else? The new Jing-A has seating for 150. Skylights. An outdoor area. And a large mural by Leon Fenster: a “kaleidoscopic ‘mental map’ of the capital, with colorful city landmarks populated by scores of characters and beers from throughout Jing-A’s history.” Wonder if there’s a little Jing-B (est 2005) in there somewhere!
So, official soft opening this Friday, including the release of the sour beer Watermelon Xanadu. Until then it’s apparently invite-only as the team fine-tunes its systems. Check out this map and photos, courtesy of Jing-A, except for the last four that I took on Friday.