What should we know about Kodiak?
It's a behemoth of a bar in Rathmines where Copan used to be, from the same guys who own pizza and craft drinks focused Bonobo in Smithfield. It's the same quality vibe in here, from the interiors to the drinks list, the service to the simple but hits it home food menu.
What did you drink?
First things first, is there a better bar beer list in the country? Answers on a postcard please, because we haven't come into contact with one.
Beer lovers will lose their minds over the sours, stouts, ales, Belgians, IPA's, the sharing bottle 'rares' - this is as far from a brewery bought beer list as you can imagine. Ask the staff for recommendations or go for a lucky dip.
Lough Gill Brewery's 'Pain and Perfection - Mango, Guava and Passion Fruit Pastry Sour was on tap when we visited, and it's one of the most delicious beers we have EVER tasted. We also had a less sour sour from Lervig in Norway, and a Pilsner from Danish brewery To Øl - no complaints. You could come in here every week for a year and still find something new to try.
They put the same welly into their cocktails, which range from a classic Margarita to a Kodiak whiskey sour with Amaro Montenegro. We tried the Spicy Margarita and order it with extreme caution, and a cold milk chaser. At one point it went down the wrong way and that was a scary, burny few seconds.
What about the food?
Things are simple here with a pizza menu and a couple of bits and dips. The pizza oven is upstairs and you'll get a good gawk on route to the toilet, where you'll also get atrium views of the room below. It's a great-sounding menu ranging from a basic Margherita to one with truffle, orange and pistachios, and there's loads of add-ons.
We had the 'Potato & Pancetta' with a white base, rosemary roasted potato and smoked pancetta, knowing the fans it has in Bonobo, and it's a great pizza, with a perfectly light and airy Neapolitan dough. It's rich and we probably wouldn't have wanted a whole for one person, but half was perfect, and they come in takeaway boxes so easy to bring home if you have any left. (You guys have also told us the 'Sausage' and the 'Truffle & Orange Zest' are two of your favs)
The 'focaccia' is more like garlic pizza bread - a salty, garlicy, chewy carb-fest - but the 'spicy creamy nduja' was a bit of a dud - too solid for a dip, and missing the creaminess in the name.
Why should I go?
Apart from the food and drinks, the staff in Kodiak were so welcoming and warm. We were greeted twice within seconds of walking in, and despite the place being packed on a Saturday evening, we were never left trying to wave someone down. These guys hire well.
Staff and management were more than happy to spend time geeking out on drinks, and if they didn't have the answer to a question (we always have all the questions) they went and got it. These guys are the bar operators our drink-soaked city needs, and we can't wait to go back with a gang.
304 Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6