By Alex Distefano
By Daniel Kohn
By Aimee Murillo
By Nick Schou
By Nate Jackson
By Nate Jackson
By Dave Lieberman
By Daniel Kohn
After spending the better portion of my summer eating popcorn and getting wired on well whiskey at the Red Room—and why not, when adorable Elvis Costello doppelgangers flock toward me and my friends every time we step foot in the joint—I decided it was finally time to break the whiskey-and-Coke routine. And so on Thursday, Sept. 11, it was off to explore unimbibed terrain at Que Sera's Beat Stew, where grooving to old-school hip-hop kept me thirsty for more raspberry Stoli and Sevens. Now, I'm no fan of vodka—blame a hazy night in college involving an undrilled, blue bowling ball and a few too many vodka-with-a-splash-of-O.J. screwdrivers—but if there has ever been a drink in need of a whizbang name, it's this one. It goes down like doctor's office candy!
However, not sweet—at all—were the drinks at the Henry Fonda Theater during the Walkmen show the next night. After first enjoying a bottle of Charlie Shaw's finest merlot in the parking lot, my girl friend and I headed inside to the roped-off bar, where she took one whiff of her suspiciously unlabeled wine and winced: "I hate wine that smells like medicine!" So, of course, the next logical purchase was an $8—four Chucks, in drunk-men's terms—sake bomb. Now, perhaps not all sake bombs taste like a shot of wallpaper paste mixed with Coors Light—or smell like the Dunkin' Donuts up the street from the Metro in Chicago, for that matter—but no joke: I actually gagged—like, get-me-a-toilet, thar-she-blows! gagged—in front of droves of punk-pinned, faux-mulleted hipper-than-thous.
By Saturday, with the faintest trace of putrid sake lingering on my taste buds, a trip to the Red Room didn't sound quite so tired. Still, I wasn't prepared to give up the hunt for new drinks and new faces, so plans were made to hit the Program at the Bamboo Terrace. After a quick stop by the Crew at the Lab for a faux mullet to call my own, my friends and I arrived at the Terrace and promptly downed a delicious flaming volcano. Then, from behind the bar, Debbie ordered me to order a martini. I declined—those glasses are just made for dropping, anyway—but when a friend sidled up next to me with a mojitini, I discovered that those are just like a rainforest in a glass. Two mojitos—again, the glass issue—and a shot of orange-tinted, peach-schnappsed goodness later, it was time for sleep. With new hair on my head and a rainforest in my belly, the rut was broken. But I still dreamt of whiskey.
This week, the quest for fabulous drinks continues on Thursday at the Quiet Woman in Corona del Mar, where you can sip their Razzitini, a fruity concoction served partially in a martini glass, with the other half served inside a tiny pitcher on ice in a highball glass.
Then on Friday, after catching Dennis Quaid and the Sharks at the Coach House, sip on some Irish Car Bombs—a mixed shot of Jameson and Bailey's dropped into a pint glass of Guinness—at the Kitsch bar.
If Saturday doesn't find you at the Rainer Maria show at the Glass House, then it's highly recommended you mosey over to Shannon's Bay Shore Saloon in Long Beach and Shoot the Root with a shot of root beer shnapps and a pint of beer.Hot Hot Heat take over the House of Blues on Sunday, but that shouldn't stop you from heading to the Majestic in Huntington Beach for Social Studies, a night of everything old school—including break dancers!—and trying a surfer on acid, otherwise known as Jägermeister, Malibu rum and pineapple juice.
By Monday, if your wallet isn't empty from ordering all these specialty drinks, trek to Johnny's and tackle their Bazooka Johnny shot—named after Bazooka Joe's bubblegum—a bubblegum-tasting mixture of 99 Bananas, Triple Sec, Rockstar energy drink and cranberry juice.
Then on Tuesday, toast to Gina Gershon's trip down to the OC—she'll be gigging at the Coach House; I'll take movie stars in search of a career revival for a thousand, please, Alex!—while chugging out of a mai tai bowlat Quan's in Orange.
Lastly, take a trip of your own Wednesday at the Grove of Anaheim as they present The Machine, a synchronized version of The Wizard of Oz set to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Afterward, head to the Avalon Bar and try their key lime pie martini, complete with a crushed graham-cracker-lined rim. Then go home and die.