Of the chefs we interview for On the Line, few check in with us after the fact. So it was double the pleasure when a former subject not only called us, but provided newsworthy intel. More on them later. For now, we go to the bar.
In the last year, Wyndham's Costa Mesa property went under the knife. Inside, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar also received a facelift. The bar temporarily relocated just off the lobby in what had to be a meeting breakout room. Things were evolving, but for how long?
That question was answered last week, when their bar reopened to lounge status. A raised patio overlooks Avenue of the Arts, ideal for watching performing arts patrons and maybe sneaking a smoke. Through glass doors, pristine couches and hanging lamps are an interior designer's vision of South Coast chic. If not for the translucent ice cube of a bar (with World of Color lighting beneath), we'd be sold.
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We stopped in before dinner, selecting The Headliner from their jazz-themed cocktails. Our bartender paused after we ordered, clarifying our beverage would not be sweet, despite simple syrup and muddled blackberries. In fact, we completely overlooked the one-word editorial immediately below the listing: Intense.
Somewhere between the Belvedere vodka, rosemary infusion and cucumbers, we realized he wasn't kidding. It was curiously strong, even for cocktail standards. We consumed another for quality control's sake. Handfuls of spiced popcorn took the edge off, but our colorless beverage clearly did its job.
And our friend? Austin Lee informed us he's currently sous chef for their improved weekend brunch, working alongside Executive Chef Carlos Garcia and Pastry Chef Paul Rivera. Good for him, and we look forward to the bar's evolution!