Elmer Dulla starting his industry career working at a university-wide catering company, then to Vito's when it was partially a nightclub. After graduation he worked full time at various companies, including Starbucks and T-Mobile, while he poured drafts and mixed drinks at 22 Doors for eight years. Dulla then moved to Bar Sajor, where he met Edouardo Jourdan—the chef de cuisine at Sajor before opening Salare—and the their friendship blossomed, leading Dulla to his current position: bar manager at Jordan's Ravenna restaurant.
What is your go-to drink when you’re off duty?
I usually do a shot of calvados, and I drink a lot of sour beers and ciders. I usually stay within that realm. I’ve ventured into mescals and tequila depending on who I am with, but if I’m by myself I usually do calvados and sour beers or ciders.
Favorite food and drink pairing at Salare?
Edouardo makes these yam fritters: just that, with any of our beers on tap. The yam fritters are one of my favorite things and we have a blood orange gose beer, which is a salty type of beer that goes really well with the oysters we have.
Describe your bar program.
I try to focus on what is going on in the kitchen, what we have available, and what's seasonal. Anything that the kitchen has I’ll try and incorporate it into the drinks that we do. And I like having a beer cocktail, a cider cocktail, trying to make it a little interesting but still approachable for the customers. So that's what my program is trying to be here, focusing on beer knowledge as well as spirit knowledge, along with food knowledge.
What have you been making a lot of at Salare? What have people been ordering?
Since it’s a newer type of restaurant to the neighborhood, people usually tend to go to bourbon or rye cocktails, kind of default to that. We made nocino before the restaurant opened up, which is a green walnut liquor, from walnuts and high-proof vodka; it’s been sitting for seven months and it becomes its own digestif, with herbaceous qualities. I put it on the menu a couple weeks ago and people have been ordering it. It’s like a variation of a Rob Roy. We use a blended scotch and the nocino and some black walnut bitters; a lot of people have been buying that cocktail based on the numbers.
What is your most epic bar moment?
At Bar Sajor at any time there is a big festival at WaMu theater [aka CenturyLink Field] there are huge windows at Sajor, so you just see ten thousand people in costumes walking by at night in 30 degree weather with all types of lights and costumes, all ages. It’s pretty hilarious, these super epic nights where you see the circus outside this beautiful restaurant where people are eating.