Edwin's Top Five Drinks and Restaurants of 2015

Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Edwin Goei

There are no Pepsi Perfects or re-hydrated pizzas a la Back to the Future 2 in this list of top 2015 drinks and eats—just good stuff from the very best places your humble food scribe has had the pleasure to drink and eat at this year. Herewith is my top five drinks and restaurants of 2015.

Shaken. Stirred. Slashed.
Shaken. Stirred. Slashed.
Edwin Goei

5. Prego Martini at Prego

My Happy Hour drink of choice at Prego in Irvine isn't the $4.50 draft beer nor the $4.75 house wine, but the drink that bears the restaurant's name: The Prego Martini, a pinkish cocktail whose fruitiness is sweet but never cloying. Since it's essentially just a mix of the blueberry and pomegranate flavor of vodkas from Pinnacle—a brand that I found out later boasts a Cinnabon and pumpkin pie flavor, if you can believe it—it's not really a martini. But the drink does have a splash of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime, which tastes especially good against the cheese and seafood-heavy apps.

A trophy drink.
A trophy drink.
Edwin Goei

4. Dave's Famous Margarita at Famous Dave's

"Dave's Famous Margarita" is so out of place at Famous Dave's, you kind of have to order it on general principle. It's the first thing listed on their "Award Winning Beverages" list and also happens to be the most popular drink to guzzle with their sticky-sweet-and-smoky meats. It's a normal margarita, made with Sauza Gold and Cointreau and off-the-shelf margarita mix, but it's served in a thick chalice that could double as a sports trophy that's rimmed with enough salt to season a medium McDonald's fries. Most importantly, it's a lot of margarita. As a finishing touch, it's also topped with a shot of brandy that disappears into the drink.

Kettle's mettle.
Kettle's mettle.
Edwin Goei

3. The Kettle Cup at Kettlebar

Kettlebar's signature cocktail of the house, The Kettle Cup, has more components than Mardi Gras has beads. The list of things they pour into it goes like this: Capano Antica, Aperol, Brooklyn Gin, Reagan's Orange Bitters, Peychaud's Bitter, and finally, Ginger Beer. What matters is that it's served in a tall, sweaty glass with perfect cubes of ice, and a taste that's reminiscent of a Hawaiian passionfruit-ladened tiki drink with the bitterness of lime zest at the end.

Lemon. Dropped.
Lemon. Dropped.
Edwin Goei

2. Lemon Drop at Bistango

Bistango's Happy Hour isn't where you should settle for just beer and hot wings. What you want are the scallops with risotto, and to drink: classic cocktails like the Lemon Drop, which happens to pair quite well with the shellfish. It's a standard-tasting Lemon Drop using Grey Goose Le Citron, Dr. Swami & Bone, and Day's Sweet & Sour. But for every sip you take from the sugar-rimmed martini glass you discreetly tongued earlier, you realize how sophisticated this simple drink is, even if it is essentially alcoholic lemonade.

Yes, it comes with all three.
Yes, it comes with all three.
Edwin Goei

1. Sangria Sampler at Lazy Dog

Lazy Dog's house-made sangrias sampler is made up of three good sized mason jars of sweetened wines flavored with pomegranate, peach, and raspberry. The White Peach tastes like a potpourri-scented lemonade; the Raspberry Moscato is like a Hawaiian punch with the alcoholic sting coming at the end; and the Pomegranate Red has the most body, the one that tastes the most like actual wine and perfect if you happen to have ordered a rare burger.

And now, the food!



Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >