Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Noble Experiment (San Diego)

StarStarStarStar½

It can be a bitch landing a reservation to this place.  Don't just drop by any time you feel like it and expect the seas to part for you either - It ain't happening.  As a matter of fact, if you want to make a reservation, consider this weekend booked already.  Shoot for NEXT WEEKEND.  

I though I had it all planned out for my trip to San Diego from L.A. when I SENT A TEXT ON WEDNESDAY AT 5:00pm SHARP FOR A RESERVATION FOR A PARTY OF 2 ON FRIDAY.  DENIED!!  I received a text saying they were all booked...TO TEXT BACK ON FRIDAY TO GET ON A WAIT LIST.  Disappointed but undeterred, I followed their instructions and did just that.  VOILA, I was accepted.

We arrived at 9:30 only to be told...AT BEST, THE EARLIEST WE'D RECEIVE A TEXT, TO GET IN, WOULD BE AT MIDNIGHT.  AT BEST!  F*ck!!  I walked over to El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, sulky and dejected thinking of all the unwarranted, dirty rotten things to Yelp about as soon as I had the chance.  "I had it all planned out!  Where did I go wrong? I drove all the way down from LA with this bar being the only bar I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO VISIT, only to get stopped yards short by a pretty little lady in 1920's garb.  Not even the wall of Kegs stopped me, " I thought to myself!  

Hyperbole aside, having already consumed 4 drinks elsewhere, I received a text saying, WE CAN ACCOMMODATE YOU NOW.  This text came out of the blue as it was not even midnight - but just 10:37pm!  We high-tailed our way there and were seated pronto.  Yay!!

Well, this Speakeasy is INSIDE OF NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT.  It's NEXT TO THE RESTROOMS, BEHIND THE WALL OF EMPTY KEGS.   No need to knock - Just PUSH ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THAT KEG WALL AND...BINGO, you're in!!

Once inside, you're transported to another place and time.  Very elegant decor.  The Gold Skull Mosaic Wall is baddass and the digital European Portraits are a trip.  The room seats about 30 people with a 8-10 bar stools and white leather sofas/couches. But enough of the minutia.

The bar is as good as they get.  They have a menu of 8 or so cocktails to choose from and there's no doubt in my mind that they're great but try the Bartender's Choice and steer them [if you wish] by giving them a spirit, fruit, herb and/or spice to work with and be dazzled by what they concoct.  Oh, and to fully appreciate your libations, sit at the bar.  The precision and care put into these babies is top notch.  

Flair bartending is cool but I much prefer watching these mixmasters.  Speaking of  which, Anthony was our bartender.  He was a delight to talk with and it was our pleasure to have him prepare our cocktails.  I wish they allowed flash photography so you could see how pretty the drinks looked. Oh well, you'll just have to find out for yourself.  

If you San Diegans come up to Los Angeles, check out The Varnish.  Same deal as this place but no reservations required and just a wait of no-longer-than-an-hour on a busy night.  I'm not saying, go there rather than here.  I'm just saying, if you want the same experience and level of drinks and you're in LA, check it out.  I'm sure the Mixologists at Noble Experiment will more than vouch for the place.

Thanks again for the great time N.E.



Speakeasy Entrance.  Yeah, that’s the door.



Just beyond the door…



Gold Skull Mosaic Wall.


 
I forgot the name of the drink on the left but the one on the right is a Caipirinha (Cachaca, Lime & Sugar).


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