Restaurant Reviews

Honor Kitchen and Cocktails

October 1, 2015
The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:

Divey bar with amazing food,  a great staff and a fun atmosphere.

The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:Honor Kitchen and Cocktails is a kitschy bar with a fun vibe. Stepping into this location made me forget there was a life outside it. There’s nothing super special about it on the inside, but the energy is upbeat. The red countertop and dim lighting made me feel relaxed and very in the moment. Plus, there is something about being surrounded by locals who are greeted by name and staff that get along well enough to joke with each other. I felt like I was in a small town and it felt great!

The location may not call out to you right away and you may even think it’s closed since there are no neon lights or a visible sign on the building, but it’s worth looking out for. I also love that it feels like a place all on it’s own even though it’s so close to the hustle and bustle that surrounds Emeryville with Ikea, AMC theatres and rows of shops and chain restaurants.

Though you would never guess, this restaurant is owned by the same people who own Park Chalet, Beach Chalet and Lake Chalet. Honor Bar and, later, Kitchen were thought up by the owner and came to reality because of his desire to get a great drink and meal after work. You can tell that this place wasn’t created to reach the masses and that’s what makes it so great.

From a kitchen no bigger than one you’d see on a food truck, Honor’s most recent chef Ben Baehrend has done a great job with the menu. He took over about 6 months ago and has definitely added his own flair while keeping all the regular favorites. I was shocked to see so much come from such a small cooking space – hats off to the chef! Their dedication to the type of food served is much appreciated – with local produce and an in-house butcher they are hands on and it comes through in the food.

Mon – Thurs  4:30 pm – 11 pm
Fri – Sat  4:30 – 12 am
Closed on Sunday

What we ate:

  • Slightly Jaded ($12)
  • Downward Spiral ($11)
  • The Freshmaker ($11)
  • Bleeding Monarch ($11)
  • Bone marrow brulee ($12)
  • Five cheese mac and cheese ($11)
  • Tuna Salad
  • Daily special – crab and roasted peppers
  • Bucket O’Yard birds ($17)
  • Lamb pizetta
  • Chocolate tort
  • Blue corn cake


Dennis got the Downward Spiral which is their take on a Manhattan – while it was much too strong for me, Dennis really liked it.

I asked the bartender to surprise me and she served me the “Slightly Jaded” with bourbon, apricot liqueur and pineapple syrup. It’s stronger than the drinks that I normally gravitate toward, but it was tasty! I’m known for making faces when the alcohol content is too intense and overpowering. However, this cocktail was strong with no face in sight – instead I found it pleasant not only to drink, but also to look at. There’s a slight kick of sweetness and the apricot flavor comes through nicely!
I was very surprised by the Freshmaker because, again, it’s not something I would ever order, but this was my favorite of the night. This cocktail has strawberry infused rum, fernet branca, black pepper, lemon and cream soda. The pepper and lemon weren’t as obvious, but this strange combination made for a very good drink.

The tuna salad was a tuna salad – basic, but tasty (I mean this in the best way possible). It tasted super fresh and the heirloom tomatoes were great. Even though tuna salad is pretty simple, this had a lot of flavor.

 I was blown away by this lamb sausage flatbread/pizzette. Topped with arugula, this was delicious! The sausage is made in house, the sauce is so rich and everything about this was perfect.

The special that night was one of my favorite dishes. Roasted gypsy peppers stuffed with crab and served over blue corn polenta and crème fraiche. There is so much going on in this dish – it was creamy and juicy and I was in love. It doesn’t look all that appetizing and you can’t really even tell one ingredient from the next, but don’t let the lack of presentation keep you away. I relished every bite and I hope this becomes a permanent menu item.

​Honor’s bone marrow was amazing and I think it was that much more amazing because I didn’t expect a dive-y place like this to have bone marrow – it’s, unfortunately, usually reserved for frou frou restaurants. So when I saw this I was excited and then I tasted it and fell in love. The roasted garlic and jalapenos give me life. Honestly! Also this picture only shows half of a full order so you definitely get a lot of bone marrow for a great price. I would (and definitely plan to) come back solely for this dish.

The mac and cheese had a very sharp flavor and even a slight kick from the 18 month old gouda. This was good, but nothing special.

 I really liked the fried chicken it was moist and the special-recipe sauce made in house really added flavor. The dish comes with a biscuit and macaroni salad. The macaroni salad was good, but I wish the biscuit was served hot.

The desserts!!! These were another favorite of the night. I know it looks strange, but that’s because we got 2 on 1 plate, so try to imagine it separate. On the left side is the chocolate torte with a chocolate cookie crust served with bruleed strawberries and whipped cream. This was fantastic, the chocolate was just rich enough without making me feel like I could only have one bite and with the strawberries’ flavor enhanced by the torch, it made for a GREAT dessert.

The second is a sweet blue corn cake with Asian pears and coffee mocha ice cream. I couldn’t detect the corn at all, it tasted like a very decadent banana bread.

Both of the combinations were so flavorful – I would order both again for sure!!! ​

You should probably start volunteering to go to IKEA so you have an excuse to stop by Honor Kitchen and Cocktails.

Honor Kitchen & Cocktails Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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