North Beach has Italian, and The Mission its burritos and the baseheads who never eat them, but Russian Hill's got...a distinct flavor despite having very few minorities. Feel that flavor, at Bar Johnny
Bedecked with abundant Carrera marble, and bouquets of white roses, BJ is an elegant-yet-casual, drop-in bar-staurant designed to blend in with the affluent, miraculously hooker-free stretch of Polk it calls home.
The shareable plates reflect the unfocused-gourmet typical of "California" cuisine (melon and duck prosciutto, fried chicken, mushroom fricassee), diversity that should help The Hill People avoid unnecessary forays into potentially seedy ethnic enclaves, or risking losing their parking spots.
Alcoholically, there's a 70-bottle wine list, plus cocktails that draw on 'hood inspirations -- the Valeen (Ketel, Cointreau, grapefruit) is a shout-out to BJ's cross streets,Vallejo and Green , while The Buck (brandy, lemon, ginger ale) pays homage to a unit of currency prized by many locals as a collectors item
As any good bar does, Johnny also features a "Basket of Cookies" -- so vague it could be code word for something illicit, but in any event preferable to the signature dessert offered at the other end of Polk St, "Tranny-misu".