You enter the Commissary Lounge from a semi-hidden black door in The Lab. There's not even a sign alerting you to alcohol ahead; it's just a word-of-mouth type of place that should never be called something so simple as "a bar." The black walls, metal bar and dim lighting all add to the mystery of the Commissary Lounge. The alcohol selection focuses mainly on beer since they have a limited liquor license, but have no fear, there's everything from Colt 45 to Hoegaarden.
Although you'd expect an über-hipster vibe, this 2-month-old lounge is really laid-back and seems to cater to anyone that comes in the door. How can you not love a place where you can order a mini Mickey's or a tall can of Coors Light?
Those who prefer something other than beer will be pleasantly surprised with the creations of Javier, Commissary's manager. He's a master of making soju-based cocktails that make you forget there's no high-proof alcohol available.
The cocktail and shot selection changes, but if Toxic Punch is available, it's definitely worth ordering. It's a mix of alcohols and juices that you should not attempt to recreate--leave that to Javier.
He also makes sangria with fresh fruit--that, in his words, rivals the sangria of Habana--and the best part is that he's right. It's made about every other day so it really soaks in the flavors.
Continue on for one more drink selection and a warning about the tits and ass you may see at Commissary...
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Also on the featured drink menu was another soju-based cocktail called Blueberry Lemonade--a refreshing drink that tastes exactly like its name and is surprisingly strong.
And I should warn you . . . what they play on the TV screens is pretty ridiculous but also hilarious. Short clips that seem to be straight from YouTube, old '80s movies, TV shows from the late 90s, and pornos. Yes, pornos. Think a clip of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, then some naked asses, then raw ground beef, then Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen dancing around as minors. You won't want to look but won't be able to stop.
Commissary Lounge, 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. Located inside The Lab.