Over the weekend, many bars and restaurants held their Halloween costume parties, the better to get the jump on the week. Many of these places will hit the repeat button this Thursday, as Halloween events will bloom across OC. So which to pick? We narrowed down this list based on bars we like, and made sure not to pick two bars from the same city, the better to spread the love. Enjoy!
1. The Crosby
Although its founding chef Aron Habiger left a couple of months ago, the Crosby's food is still as strong as ever, along with their propensity for hoppin' grooves. Make sure to imbibe their potent cocktails, as they're always switching them up. 400 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 543-3543; thisisthecrosby.com
2. Rudy's Pub and Grill
Believe it or not, I'm actually a fan of this Balboa Peninsula standard, even though I once had a date there that ended horribly after I made a joke about the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Between the stiff drinks, the massive burgers, the indoor-outdoor seating, beacoup televisions and the hottest Newps gals not already sloshed at Blackie's, this will attract many, many fine upstanding citizens. 3110 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 723-0293; www.rudyspubandgrill.com
3. La Cave
Steaks and jazz and Manhattans to go with your sexy nurse? You know it! 1695 Irvine Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 646-7944; www.lacaverestaurant.com 4. Alex's Bar
Does this Long Beach legend serve food? I've always been too drunk to ever notice, but their cocktails (like the Black Sleep of Khali Ma, pictured above) will fill you up bueno. And if you need food before moshing to infamous punk legends Flock of Goo Goo, there's always Trinidadian gem Callaloo Kitchen just down the street. 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com.
5. Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen
The most underrated bar restaurant in OC will be at the "hub" (bonus points for those of ustedes who get that horrible pun!) of downtown Fullerton come October 31. Don't forget to order those furiously delicious Sliders from Hell.122 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2233; www.slidebarfullerton.com
6. Prego Ristorante
Those of ustedes who prefer their Halloween bacchanal with a batch of classiness should go forth to Prego, which is hosting their annual Masquerade Ball. Come for the pasta; it's up to you to turn it into a night of Eyes Wide Shut hilarity elsewhere. 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, (949) 553-1333; www.pregoristoranti.com 7. Johnny's Saloon
It's been one big Halloween all of October for the ever-lovable bar where our Webmistress lives. 17428 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 848-0676; johnnyssaloon.com
8. House of Blues Anaheim
If you can't get in to see former Smiths frontman Johnny Marr, you can always go next door to the Mouse of Blue's Scare-A-Oke. Great food, great drinks, great living! 1530 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com
9. BeachFire Restaurant
Even all these years later, BeachFire remains San Clemente's best MILF bar, a compound of fruity cocktails that young guns from Pendelton use to ply away at cougars. And in costumes? Even better! 204 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, (949) 366-3232; beachfire.com
10. 320 Main
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Is the venerable Seal Beach restaurant having a special Halloween promotion? No. Should you still go out there to get drunk? Yes. Especially as all the other lushes stumble across downtown Seal Beach for a true zombie holiday. 320 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 799-6246; www.320mainsealbeach.com