While not technically in Orange County, Long Beach’s Tantalum, with its sweeping bar-width view of the Marina Pacifica and handy waterfront docking availability, will make any OC yachstman feel right at home. While worth a visit for the people-watching opportunities alone, Tantulum’s secret weapon is the Typhoon Chili martini—or, as the restaurant calls the concoction, “Tantalum-tini.” Served in a classic martini glass, the drink combines vodka, peach and orange juice, and a Thai chile-infused simple syrup. Located on the spice scale somewhere between serano and habanero, the Thai chile packs just the right amount of fire to make the Typhoon Chili perfect.
6272 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 431-1414; www.tantalumrestaurant.com.
Readers’ Choice: The Vintage Cocktail Lounge