Best Neighborhood Bar, South OC Orange County 2010 - The Saloon
It says a lot about South County that we once heard this well-kept but tiny water hole referred to as a "dive." With no cover, few seats and zero attitude, the Saloon is a perfect refuge from the typical Affliction-afflicted, line-out-the-door Laguna Beach restaurant-turned-bar. The décor evokes a classed-up frontier billiards room, but it's not like you have much room to turn your head and admire. Instead, focus on the glass in your hand: The drinks are stiff but subtle, and the bar's signature, homemade, pineapple-infused vodka comes off a lot less foofy than you'd expect—maybe because all the regulars are drinking it.