Let's be honest. Sometimes you want someone to do the thinking for you. Instead of browsing ratings or reviews, an emphatic "Go Here" is enough reason to hit up a place. A place with beer, wine and liquor, plus its share of belt-loosening grub. Keep calm and Chive on-- here are five for your consideration.
1. HopScotch - Fullerton
We kick off with an inaugural event over in the DTF neighborhood. Cody Storts and his Culinary Militia will be hosting a "Pig & Whiskey" pig roast. If you're into the consumption of whole hogs, this is your gig. Pork-infused Four Roses bourbon (Whaaat?) will pair nicely with their Devil's Gulch Ranch oinker. At $24.99 a person, it's a unique pairing. www.hopscotchtavern.com.
2. Andrei's - Irvine
If Dad is craving more whiskey, this conscious cuisine spot fits the bill. Kicking off their own Whiskey Week on Friday, they've got a gifting deal: Purchase a $50 gift card by Saturday, and receive a wrapped duo of whiskey glass and stones. My recommendation: purchase the gift card, get the freebie, take dad there Sunday, present gift. The special menu includes bourbon glazed and grilled, bone-in rib eye steak and a whiskey-marinated, double smoked bacon wedge salad. www.andreisrestaurant.com.
3. Tangata - Santa Ana
When we interviewed Chris Brodeur from Tangata at the Bowers Museum, he hinted at eventually serving brunch. For a reasonably priced ($25 adults; $14 kids under 12) buffet with artsy surroundings, we are down with an afternoon in their peaceful patio overlooking the courtyard. Sweet 'n smoky BBQ ribs, smoked salmon, wild baby arugula salad and an assortment of sweets await famished families. www.patinagroup.com.
4. Fireside Tavern - Costa Mesa
Scott Brandon put together two specials for Sunday. His $22 Sasquatch Burger & Beer deal pours 22-ounces of Stone Smoked Porter to start. Then, an eight-ounce bacon cheeseburger is flanked on both ends by TWO Tillamook cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches. And yes, you get fries with that. Brandon's ode to meat-and-potatoes is channeled with My Father's Favorite, beginning with a Kentucky Cherry Blossom cocktail (Bourbon, Vermouth and Cherry Bitters). At $40, this includes a 20-ounce, bone-in Ribeye with cheddar-chive mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Dang. www.firesidetavern.com.
5. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations - Newport Beach
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For a not-so-traditional take on brunch, check out what (the relatively new) Bosscat began serving over the weekend. Lobster poutine, red velvet pancake burgers and short rib & dirty rice breakfast burritos are pretty damn manly, if you ask me. And they've got one of the largest selections of whiskey around. What is it with whiskey?! www.bosscatkitchen.com.