Not only do you need to know someone to enter the private Center Club in Costa Mesa, you need to know someone who knows someone. Tucked away in the recesses near the Segerstrom Center parking structure, it's the type of place that people like you and I never enter unless we work for UPS, wash dishes for a living, or your boss decides to invite you to his daughter's wedding. So how the hell did I sneak in? I know someone who knows someone who knows someone…HA!
It's a nice spot, even if the décor looks stolen from the set of The Wolf of Wall Street. A shuffleboard table is off to the side; televisions are always set to sports. The menu shows signs of innovation, with a weekly Wednesday menu. And whoever runs the bar deserves a raise; on tap are Bruery and Bottle Logic offerings, and my favorite cocktail here is the Tennessee Side Car.
It's far stronger than the classic Side Car cocktail, even if it initially seems no more dangerous than a second martini. There's Grand Marnier in it, of course, and lemon juice. But sweetening the drink is orange juice, and smacking you into attention is a liberal dose of Jack Daniel's–probably the only liberal thing at the Center Club. Kudos for the club for their expert bartender–now, think you can let us plebes in once a month just for the hell of it? Think of the ratings!