Fifth Floor Reservations
Tues. - Thur.
5:30pm - 9:30pm
Fri. - Sat.
5:30pm - 10:00pm
Mon. - Sat.
5:00pm - Close
Available for Private Events
Fifth Floor Restaurant
Sun. - Mon.
12 Fourth Street
Within the Hotel Palomar
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Nicolai Lipscomb, Chef de Cuisine
Chef Lipscomb was born and raised in Half Moon Bay, a small coastal town 30 minutes south of San Francisco. He went to study electrical engineering at Sacramento State University and it was during this time, while working part-time jobs at local restaurants, where he stumbled upon his true passion for food and cooking.
Lipscomb's introduction to fine dining began with an apprenticeship at Boston's No. 9 Park under James Beard Award winning chef Barbara Lynch, and then chef de cuisine David Bazirgan. Though incredibly green, he rose to every challenge and excelled through the ranks. "At the time, I didn't know the difference between parsley and tarragon," admits Lipscomb. Looking to utilize his immense potential, Lynch hired Lipscomb as opening sous chef at B&G Oysters where he spent a year before returning west.
He spent a short stint as opening chef of a small restaurant in Northern California, but pretty soon, Lipscomb's desire to expand his repertoire brought him to Spain where he worked under Chef Juan Mari Arzak at the world renowned Ristorante Arzak, and later for Joan and Jordi Roca at El Celler de Can Roca and Ferran Adria's Foundation Alicia. Lipscomb then spent a short amount of time staging in Italy, and it was there his passion for pasta developed. He spent more than three years in Europe, and attributes those experiences to attributes to shaping many of the flavors and cooking styles he brings to the kitchen today.
Seeking new challenges after his return from Europe, Lipscomb completed stages in some of the Bay Area's finest restaurants, including Coi, Cyrus, and Ubuntu. But it was the chance to re-unite withChef David Bazirgan, then at San Francisco's Chez Papa Resto, that would eventually lead him to the Fifth Floor. In 2010, after a successful year together at Chez Papa, the duo took their talents to the Fifth Floor and received a 3.5 star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle.
As chef de cuisine, Lipscomb can be seen orchestrating the day-to-day operations, mentoring his cooks and sous chefs, or behind the line, and is a driving force behind much of the delicacy and refinement that characterizes the Fifth Floor's menu.
When not in the kitchen, Lipscomb can be found gardening, riding his motorcycle, and mixing cocktails for his friends.