I arrived in San Francisco relatively early in the afternoon and spent a little time wandering around the neighborhood a little bit before swinging by Myth to check to see if they were open yet. It was just past 5:30pm, and I was surprised to see the bar was already well established with a small crowd that had gathered for a quick cocktail before heading to their tables for their dinner.
The atmosphere in Myth is casual, classy, stately, and relaxed. Many of the lines are clean and straight, and the surfaces are nicely toned wood, cloth, and glass. It felt quite comfortable, and open, with nice little conversation areas sectioned off which allowed a certain amount of intimacy to exist as well.
I settled into a stool near where it appeared the bartender would be working, and ordered my "first drink" standard of an Old Fashioned, which he messed up like most bartenders do, through the addition of too much water, but at least he didn't pass, or even skimp, on the bitters. Had he simply left the water out, it would have been a perfect drink.
Jeff was the bartender, and he apparently had just recently started at Myth, and so was still getting the feel for the place, and their cocktail list. When for my second drink I asked for his "Personal Specialty", he couldn't really bring forth one that he could recommend, and tried simply going to the house specialty list. One of the other bartenders recommended a Sazerac, probably having seen I was already in a Whiskey mood. Unfortunately, Jeff wasn't sure how to make one, which just gave me the opportunity to show him how, and thus guarantee that it would be as I like it. He took quite well to the instruction, and so I took the time to introduce myself, and let him know what I did. By this time, all of the bartenders (Jeff, Christine, and Tracy) and I were chatting about, and discussing various cocktail topics.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that the bartenders here were "classically trained", but they at least seemed to know, and care, more about their craft then is often seen in places like this. I would need to meet the bar manager in order to find out what sort of standards they set for their bar, and the staff, but it didn't really appear to me that any of tonight's bartenders were the bar manager as well.
For my last drink, I selected the Pegu, which is a drink I've been dusting off quite a bit these last few months. It is obscure enough the hardly any bartenders know it, but it uses very common ingredients (except one), so all bars can make it. The one "special" ingredient that it needs is orange bitters, which I always have with me, so that's never an issue.
In all, I think that Myth is indeed a great little restaurant, and worth a visit the next time you find yourself in San Francisco.