By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldWe get a lot of letters here at Commie Girl headquarters. Many of them tell us how wonderful we are. Many of them do not. But we were happy to get this one last week because above all, we want to be here for you, our beloved readers.
Dear Commie Girl,
All of my friends live in LA and NEVER come down to Orange County —frankly, because they think there's no night life and that it totally sucks. I am getting sick of driving to LA, so I have now boycotted LA until they return the favor and go out with me down here. SO, I need some help on where to bring them so as not to get the usual, "This is why we never come down."
Can you give me some suggestions for a Saturday night out in OC? We are in our early 30s. So I don't want to take them to the Buzz or Geckos or any lame frat-boy, silicone-chick, Jell-O-shots place. See my dilemma? Basically, I'm just looking for somewhere low-key to have a drink and listen to good music, and some eye candy wouldn't hurt either.
We were especially happy to get this letter because when we forwarded it to our editor, he told us that our response should take the place of our column this week, and that meant we didn't have to go out and have fun, which can really get to be a drag after a while. So mostly we sat home in our moose pajamas this weekend and hung out on Smack Chat (www.headchange.com), where all the creepy LBC peeps sit around and impersonate one another, and lots of really delicious feuds are going on, in addition to some really obscene posts. We think some friendships may have been permanently damaged. It's extraordinarily juvenile, but once you're on, you have to check it every few minutes to make sure nobody's smacking you. It takes up a lot of time, especially if you've got deadlines looming.
Right. So. Places to go this summer that don't involve silicone and Jell-O shots. There are lots of them, but we'd like to remind Noel's snotty LA friends that silicone and Jell-O-shot places can make for an awfully good time. Just have a couple of drinks and pretend you're watching animals at the zoo. How do you think we get through all those charity events?China Beach, San Clemente. Noel's friends probably would not like China Beach. It's full of Marines and some very stupid young people, and a few tender things who like to pretend they're strippers. Also, the bands that play here are uniformly dreadful. However! The rest of you should have a really good time, if you like to bust out. Of course you do! Saturday's the night to go, with the likes of Disco Inferno throwing down Dirk Diggler moves. Didn't find any honeys? There's always some last-call action going on at the 7-Eleven half a block away. Coconuts, Capistrano Beach. Coconuts is the mother lode for those who prefer their bars positively littered with strings of bent paper banners extolling both beer and basketball. Costa Mesa's Pacecar plays there sporadically because "not a lot's expected" of them. The music is horrendously loud, and the people are homely. This is not a place for Newport brats with gleaming manes; it's a place for the rest of us. God bless Coconuts. Harbor House Cafť, Dana Point. The food's not terrific, but the people are pretty, and there's much late-night romance going on between tables. Often, complete strangers will wordlessly feed one another bites of their food. They're open all night, if you know what we mean. The Swallows Inn, San Juan Capistrano. Ex-cons, cowboys, men with wooden legs, old drunks, young drunks, nice drunks, scary drunks, 80-year-olds in matching beaded outfits, women who look 25 from the front and 55 from the back, and you. The Royal Hawaiian, The Sand Piper and the Boom Boom Room, Laguna Beach. Good luck getting up to the bar at the Royal Hawaiian. But if you like wading through people like you're on a Tokyo subway (and maybe rubbing against that special trapped someone on the way—not that that's a bad thing), by all means hit this bar. There's not a lot of mingling, though; it's mostly come with your friends, try to talk to someone, get shot down, and stand around some more, trying to breathe. We really like the Royal Hawaiian. The Sand Piper is a Laguna mainstay, frequented by all the best kinds of alcoholics. Unfortunately, we haven't yet been there. We're lame like that. The Boom is legendary, filled with gay men who don't hate women (you'd be surprised how nasty some gay bars can be). The go-go dancers are exquisite, and the bartenders and bouncers are nice. The techno on the dance floor, unfortunately, is dreadful. How many times can you hear that Cher song?
Aliso Viejo and Newport Beach. You probably don't want to go anywhere in Aliso Viejo or Newport Beach.Captain Creem, Lake Forest. You nasty, dirty thing. Kokomo's, Irvine. This teen dance club is brimming with mostly naked jailbait; you know those girls didn't leave the house looking like that. And it's as packed as Fort Lauderdale every Friday and Saturday night. It's a very sweet place. Such nice teens! Little Knight, Club Mesa, The Lion's Den, Memphis, Din Din at the Bamboo Terrace, Costa Mesa. Say hi to Tony at the Little Knight for us, and say hi to all the other random celebrities who drop into the Knight at any given time. Bonus: they've got the latest last call we've ever seen in the Golden State. Club Mesa is punk-rock, both in its choice of entertainment (especially the poetry readings on Wednesday nights) and in the disgustingness of its floors. The Lion's Den, just a block away, has the coochie-mamma-est of drag shows and more lesbians than you usually see in a gay bar. Memphis has jazz. Eh. And we've never been to Din Din, either, but all the coolest bands play there, like Tex Twil and the Moseleys, who are so good they actually cured our cold.