OC’s best bar recently launched their summer menu, a hearty helping of orange shrimp, perfect sliders and more meals designed to tastefully soak up the ever-stunning libations of Jason Schiffer’s crew. The chingón is also working on some new drinks, too—last time I saw him, he was experimenting with dried New Mexico chile for some beautiful concoction. I didn’t ask many questions, because I was obsessing over the Gardenia.
The name drew me first—Schiffer named it after Iggy Pop’s “Gardenia,” but I took it as a callback to ranchera legend Javier Solís’ ballad “Perfume de Gardenias.” The drink was as dramatically staged as the song: reposado and benedictine, with jalapeño forcing the two to make peace on your palate. Spicy, sweet, luscious—to quote Solís, it has a mystic candor. To further quote El Rey del Bolero, “YEAH!” or whatever his exclamation is that he always used in his act. Great job as always, 320 Main—put it back on the regular menu, por favor. And Jason: Now you gotta do a drink inspired by Antonio Aguilar–just saying!
320 Main, 320 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 799-6246; www.320mainsealbeach.com.