I still can't believe that after all these years, Alan Greeley of the Golden Truffle only recently received a liquor license for his esteemed restaurant–really? It's a testament to Greeley's eternal Costa Mesa party that no one ever noticed, that everyone was perfectly fine getting intoxicated on the beer and wine and the restaurant's spectacular, ever-changing food.
But now that the Golden Truffle does possess a liquor license, they're
boldly diving into the craft cocktail game, with classics like Sazeracs,
Negronis, Cuba Libres, Pimms Cups, and martinis out of a Mad Men
revival (sans the douchebaggery) already wowing lushes. It's not a
museum of standards, though: the booze menu also has original drinks,
none with a better name than the Restraining Order.
Made of reposado tequila, Aperol, and celery bitters, the drink is as scandalously wonderful as its name. I've never been a fan of Aperol, but the celery bitters (!) enliven its syrupy taste with a slight saltiness and toastiness. Meanwhile, the reposado is Agave Underground, a tequila with headquarters in Irvine that leans toward the sweet side. Together, all the components create a drink that's almost like mezcal: furtively bold, slightly smoky, light on the palate. The celery garnish is only there to look purty, but no worries: the Restraining Order shows Greeley means business, and still has his wicked sense of humor intact. Now, imagine what the Golden Truffle can do once the rookie bartender jitters wear off…