It all began with a young wanderer named Ernest Gantt. Inspired by the culture of the South Pacific, where he sometimes worked on film sets, he opened a small watering hole just off Hollywood Boulevard in the mid-1930s. He decorated it with old fishing nets and trinkets he’d picked up during his travels to the South Pacific and created a menu of exotic rum drinks, which he etched onto a board hanging behind the thatched tiki bar. Back then, drinks cost a quarter, or five wooden nickels.
Today, Don The Beachcomber still serves some of Ernest’s original rum cocktails—including his signature mai tai—in a tiki lounge inspired by that 1930s watering hole. A few things have changed over the years, however; the joint now serves a full menu of Hawaiian specialties such as ahi-tuna tacos and Kalua pulled pork piled on sweet a hawaiian bun. On Friday nights, live musicians perform Hawaiian tunes next to an indoor waterfall.
More than 100 whiskeys and a comparable bounty of beers flow at Johnny’s Saloon, an eccentric neighborhood bar that dubs itself a “twisted Cheers.” Opened in 1982, the bar emanates a charm stemming from its appreciation of the rock 'n' roll generation and a rejection of anything that represents the status quo, such as walls. The jukebox is stocked solely with vintage rock 'n' roll and country, steering clear of Top 40 pop and hip-hop, and in the spotless bathrooms, 20 scented lotions keep hands smelling fresher than the Snuggle bear’s dance moves. Though the bar doesn’t serve food, the staffers happily order in from the nearby famous Donuttery and pour libations from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. They serve up single shots of spirits such as Midleton Irish whiskey and Macallan 21-year, but patrons can also purchase a private bottle of liquor that’s held behind the bar under lock and key.
Pours from extensive wine and beer lists mingle with sea air and classic Italian flavors at Luggatti's Italian Grill. Pinot grigios such as fruity Corte Giara pair with scallop-and-clam-smothered pastas, and an Antigual Uno malbec pairs well with a 12-ounce new-york strip. Other featured wines include Educated Guess cabernet, Plungerhead zinfandel, and Zaccignini montepulciano. Taps froth with craft brews such as Allagash Curieux, Flying Dog Doggie Style IPA, Chimay, and Shipyard Brewery Monkey Fist IPA. On weekend nights, guests can sip to the sounds of live musical performances in the indoor space decorated with snappy art, or carry glasses outside to enjoy the breeze off the nearby beach and the warmth of an outdoor fireplace.
Situated in the heart of Old World Village, The Grubb Haus treats persnickety taste buds to a host of creatively styled comfort fare and decadent fried desserts. A spread of sandwiches and platters fills the lunch menu, abating midday cravings with a salisbury steak sandwich guarded by a moat of mashed potatoes and gravy ($10.95) or the Hillbilly burger, a half-pound patty battered, deep-fried, and buried beneath corn, bacon, and american cheese ($9.95 for lunch; $10.99 for dinner). International influences run wild throughout the dinner menu, with orders of pumpkin-filled ravioli with chicken ($15.99) entertaining taste buds alongside penne pollo porcini ($16.50) and goulash with German dumplings ($11.99). The Grubb Haus also offers diners sweet meal-making denouements via indulgent, deep-fried treats ($2.49–$4.99), including Twinkies and Oreos, which they can devour or smugly savor in front of salivating passersby on a pet-friendly outdoor patio.
Spark Woodfire Grill features contemporary American cuisine with an Italian twist. As the restaurant’s name suggests, Spark's chefs use woodfire specialty cooking equipment to prepare their dishes, or they yell at them until the dishes become cooked by shame.
Ibiza Bartending Academy's resident bartenders steer students through mixology classes designed for beginners and experienced cocktail constructors alike. Scratch mixology’s surface using highball glasses as makeshift augers in a beginner-friendly four-hour bartending class. Students learn the basics of bartending before trying their hand behind a real bar, which requires none of the advanced miming degrees required to mix behind an imaginary bar. Ibiza offers a four-week certification course for those with professional ambitions or more established spirit-slinging skills. Cocktail-conjuring crafts are honed through either four four-hour sessions or eight two-hour sessions. At the end of the course, pupils will have the opportunity to take the speed and accuracy exams and become a fully certified bartender.