Star 69The Shark ClubEvery Saturday

Photo by Jeanne RiceEnter (barely) at 11:13 p.m. It seems the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department now frowns on U.S. passports as a form of ID, and the door guys are a conscientious bunch. Bah. Shave's Dave Shea is exiting the club, following a wedding reception or something; Gallery Paradisiac Charlie Yoon is entering.

11:20 p.m. An initial perimeter check reveals a crowd that's predominantly “other”: Asian and black, mostly, for the men; Latina, Arabic and white for the women. Until you go into the smaller techno room, where it's white, white, white on white. It's also mostly men, sniffing after what few women aren't afraid to try bending their bodies in triple time.

11:27 p.m. We begin dancing in the main room to the tried-and-true hip-hop beats of DJ Daniel, the cuddliest spinner this side of Endor. Through cuts from Arrested Development, Wyclef Jean and Mark Morrison (we always thought it was “Return of the Man,” not “Return of the Mack,” but that makes sense), the floor is a roiling sea of miscegenation. In Costa Mesa—even!

Midnight. As the Clubs Spin: promoter Altan denies that he has cut partner Jaime Munoz loose from Club Forbidden at the Boogie on Wednesdays.

Us: “[X] asked us what we were doing there, and we said we were there because we promised Jaime, and he asked, What does Jaime have to do with it? And we said, He's the promoter here with Altan. And he said, No, he's not! And we said, Well, we got in on his list. And he scoffed, Ihave a list here, like a list doesn't mean anything. And then he said you had asked him to help promote the club and that you knew he wouldn't have anything to do with anything Jaime touched.”

Altan: “Yeah, they hate each other. But Jaime's my partner. I asked [X] to book one band. If it came down to a choice . . . Jaime's one of my best friends.”

There do seem to be an awful lot of promoters here tonight. There's Altan, the grand old man of OC clubs; Garrett, a charming dear with good hair; Ian, whom we last saw at the Tiki Bar (apparently, he's starting out); and some guy who introduced himself as Furley and then stumbled off.

The likelihood that there are even more promoters skulking about? High.

12:12 a.m. Nicesmoking patio! Formerly a roped-off section of the parking lot, the patio is now an elegant confab of rattan chairs and loveseats and a 10-foot-long gas fireplace with black rocks like a sauna recessed in a wall. It's great ambiance, but it isAugust.

Blond girl sitting on black guy's lap: “That white-trash motherfucker right there [points at door guy] cut me off. I only had two lemon drops here, and they came out to tell me I was cut off!”

Black guy: “That's my boy right there. Anything you want, I'll tell him.”

Blond girl: “I want another lemonhead.”

We are sitting next to them on the loveseat; the guy reaches down—with the girl still on his lap—and tries to sneakily hold our hand. That's rude.

12:57 a.m. The techno room is still apparently playing the same song. Hip-hop is still good. DJ Daniel is now dancing with himself like Fred Astaire, sweeping around the DJ booth. He exhorts us to get drunker and offers a place to Jacuzzi back to sobriety. He is selfless to a fault.

Star 69 at the Shark Club, 841 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 751-6428. Sat., 7 p.m. $10. 21+.

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