Tuesday, April 28, 2009

San Diego bar- El Dorado Cocktail Lounge

Best in the West
Now I’m no lily-livered son-of-a-gun, but I was worried about deciding on a final destination for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party. Downtown clubs with $20 covers and “beautiful people” staring at one another over watered-down drinks wasn’t our idea of a good time. We needed a place to kick up our heels and word ‘round the campfire was that El Dorado’s recently revamped, Wild West persona would do the trick.

Before: I emailed El Dorado about a week before our party and one of the owners, Nate Stanton, got back to me right away. There were only five of us, but he acted like we were some celebrity entourage by immediately reserving a booth and getting our names on the RSVP list (He also let me stash some cupcakes there earlier, so we could surprise my friend later.) The price for all this great service: FREE and done with an appreciative air.

During: Wooden floors clicked beneath our heels and a white buffalo head fixed us with his steadfast stare above a quiet jukebox. DJ Ratty was just getting started with his evening’s selection of old school hip hop, while bartenders slung drinks in garb that reeked of dusty saloons from yesteryear. It was like a page ripped from Disney’s Frontierland, but equipped with a multitude of unsavory characters that made it hard to imagine them behind the Magic Kindgom’s pristine gates. We were greeted by low amber lighting, vinyl booths and our attentive waitress, who got us started on drinks:

The Mule – blended ginger beer, vodka and limes in a large mason jar and in my opinion, it's the best, new drink on the cocktail scene (I’ve had it before in a copper mug and there’s no topping that, but this one was stiff enough to make up for it.)

Chile Mojito- an inventive twist on an already refreshing libation, this added just a little heat to prick the taste-buds into party mode.

Drinks were priced around $10-12, which for their size and potency was a square deal in my book. I was also impressed when Nate took the time to come over to our booth and introduce himself, even though he was busy bartending. Now that’s a class act.

After: The evening turned out far better than OK at this corral and was nothing short of a leg-slapping success for my comely brood. Great drinks, great theme, STELLAR service…It looks to me like there’s a new sheriff in town.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

It's so nice that the old watering holes that have littered all of down town for decades have a new following to replace those of us who no longer hang out in the dark corners on a day off. Makes me want to run down and see if any of the old smells still linger. Loved your write up