The state-licensed certificate courses at Pacific Bartending School provide students with the skills and the resources needed to work behind a bar, regardless of their previous knowledge or experience. In addition to learning how to pour drinks and accessorize them with garnishes or handbags, attendees will study roughly 150 basic cocktail recipes as well as the defining flavors and characteristics of the liquors and liqueurs used to make them. Instructors use audio-visual technology to supplement their lessons, and they keep class sizes small to guarantee every student their own workstation to practice at. Afterward, graduates may attend any of the school's complimentary refresher courses or seek assistance with job placement and resumè writing.
Netting toothsome hauls from both land and sea, Mickie Finnz's menu pairs fishy fare with farm-fed favorites and serves them up in a fun, beach-bungalow-themed atmosphere. Practice face-first dives into platters piled with undersea edibles, such as Baja-style fish tacos ($2.75 each), a yellow-fin ahi burger with fresh chips and salsa ($10.75), or a bucket of fried, breaded whitefish ($9.95). Landlocked lunchers can sate sea-fearing stomachs with a variety of earthbound eats, such as barbecue-chicken pizza ($9.95), or bid a fond farewell to hunger with the Aloha burger, topped with grilled pineapple, teriyaki, and grilled onions ($8.75).
Though Avenue "A" Bar & Grill is an upscale sports bar, it feels more like a stadium. The vaulted ceilings are obscured by exposed steel rafters, and the dining area is perpetually aglow with light from 15 big-screen TVs broadcasting games. The aromas of gourmet pub fare float from the kitchens, where the staff transforms familiar bar staples into 10-ounce skirt steaks, grilled chicken with mushrooms in champagne vinaigrette, and vegetable lasagna. Meanwhile, the bar keeps pace with 12 local craft beers on tap and eclectic cocktails made with ingredients such as house-infused spirits and muddled fruits. One look around the bar and it's evident that the bar's three owners have combined their expertise in food and sports. Beginning March 24, Avenue "A" Bar & Grill will also offer lunch on the weekdays.
The chefs at Chaba Thai Bay Grill rely on healthy, fresh herbs and fruits to flavor their dishes instead of excess oil, salt, and sugar. The menu of classic Thai cuisine includes stir-fried veggies or noodles with a choice of meat, spicy curries, and grilled seafood. Bartenders shake up tropical cocktails with colorful names such as the Emerald, the Topaz, and the Ruby, and pour beers imported from Thailand, Japan, and St. Louis. Hanging tapestries and Thai artwork decorate Chaba's warm-colored dining room, and the outdoor patio encourages post-meal lounging with its cushioned chairs and colorful flowers.
The spirit of '70s hard rock thrives as brawny Los Angeles trio Loudhaus cranks up the amps, bangs the skins, and knocks soaring vocals through the ceiling of Brixton South Bay. Previously known on the LA rock circuit as Bartholomew, the band has emerged like a phoenix rising from the witness-protection program to reintroduce itself as Loudhaus. The flocculent threesome recently flooded The Viper Room with their undiluted power of songs such as “I Am Not Your King” and continues its mission to free rock 'n' roll of wispy shackles during an opening set for seminal pop-rockers dada. Best known for the hit “Dizz Knee Land,” dada celebrates the 20-year anniversary of its album Puzzle by playing the record in its entirety, first acting out the liner notes, then shrink-wrapping themselves.
Sip Lounge, inside the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, is like a city with four distinct neighborhoods. Once guests walk past the lobby's large video wall, they're greeted by rows of wine bottles in the glass-enclosed cellar bookending the bar. Behind it, curtains billow beside a water feature that cascades along the wall like the zero-gravity streams found on the moon. Over in the dining room, large tables accommodate groups for gatherings over a local shrimp cocktail or cheese plate. The living room's plush couches cradle pairs for intimate conversations that can be shared over a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a craft beer.
Outside, the large patio embraces the busy energy of Ocean Boulevard without succumbing to it. Umbrellas, heaters, and glass walls separate its confines from the street's frenzy of beeps, brakes, and Model T hand cranks, and a focal fire pit warms both the temperature and the ambiance. The typical soundtrack of upbeat pop and instrumental music supplements Sip Lounge's live series, which hosts local artists from across Southern California.