Effortlessly blending upscale good times and a MMA-centric sports bar environment, Ringside Lounge maintains a classy environment equally suited to a delicious meal or to cheering on fights. Low lighting, red leather seating, and a menu of borderline gourmet American fusion cuisine such as the grilled strawberry lime burger lend themselves well to fine dining and quiet drinks. The bar also boasts a massive 100" projector which they use to great effect on fight nights, as well as eight flatscreen TVs which line the bar to broadcast big games and commercials loaded with subliminal messages.
In 2013, the Golden Foodie Awards' Best Californian Cuisine trophy went to SeaLegs Wine Bar. But while plenty of local and sustainable ingredients suffuse SeaLegs' seasonal dishes, the results don't always showcase Californian flavors. Composed mainly of tapas, executive chef Alexander Dale's menus range from crab bisques with dashes of pumpkin-coconut curry to chipotle-braised short ribs with butternut-squash polenta cakes. Alexander's culinary talents extend to brunch and dessert as well, with seared ahi tuna mixed into eggs benedict and brownies infused with ale from Stone Brewing Co.
When they aren't enriching sweets, craft brews fill pints from 10 taps and an extensive bottled selection. That, however, pales in comparison to the choices inside SeaLegs' wine cellar, which stores more than 2,000 bottles giddy for the chance to carry messages on the high seas. Feasts unfold amidst SeaLegs' elegant dining space, where vintage photos adorn walls, Frank Sinatra and Norah Jones tunes set a romantic mood, and water from nearby Huntington Beach laps onto shore.
Luigi's Restaurant fork-twirls an enticing menu of gourmet Italian cuisine, placating gondola-shaking belly rumbles with deliciously heaping portions. Appraise appetizing architecture with a towering stack of lasagna ($13.95) and a tightly furled spread of sweet or savory crêpes ($7.95–$13.95). Mouths can be converted into culinary aquariums with zesty seafood-stuffed dishes like lobster ravioli ($16.95) and calamari luciana, angel-hair pasta tossed with calamari, olives, and capers ($13.95). Alternately, moo in a Sicilian dialect for the veal medallions of vitello piccata, sautéed in a lemon-butter sauce, served with vegetables or pasta ($19.95).
Hurricanes Bar & Grill has been pouring out 22 taps of brewed satisfaction for landlubbing locals since 1992. Prep palates for culinary ironman competitions with esophageal calisthenics in the form of 25 appetizers. Taste buds are engaged in a game of hot potato with an order of poppers, in which fire-roasted jalapeños are stuffed with a cream-cheese-and-cheddar filling, beer battered and deep fried ($5.99), and a bite-size United Nations holds assembly in the southwest eggrolls served with avocado cream and chili cilantro sauce ($6.99).
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.
Huntington Beach Beer Company specializes in handcrafted ales accompanied by hearty portions of user-friendly eats. The menu offers a bounty of burgers and sandwiches, including the Kobe burger ($14.50), barbecue-chicken sandwich ($9.50), and veggie burger ($8.50). High-brow browsers with bun-free desires can nibble on brick-oven pizzas ($9.50–11.50) or house favorites, such as pub-style fish ‘n' chips ($10.50) or fresh fish tacos ($8.99–10.99). While imbibing a pint of one of Huntington Beach’s award-winning beers ($4.50), a simple crane of the neck will open pub-goers to a world of 61-inch-plasma-TV splendor. HBBC airs many major sporting events throughout the year, including NFL, MLB, UFC, and Extreme Croquet games. Several nights per week, the pub also brings in a DJ to bring down the house, reassemble it, and then host a Q&A session regarding dance-party safety.