Dim lighting flickers off cobblestone walls as guests at On the Rocks Bar & Grill socialize over steaks and burgers or gape at 20 TVs broadcasting sports. Plates of hand-formed burgers and slow-cooked ribs occupy tabletops in the dining room, whereas patrons sip drinks and enjoy nightly specials out on the patio. The eatery’s late-night menu keeps guests satiated well into the night with chicken tenderloins and fried strips of the moon.
At Bleu/XO Restaurant & Sports Lounge, diversity reigns. It's visible not only in the entertainment—which ranges from Sunday-night dance lessons to televised sports games—but also in the cuisine itself. The house special fried rice mixes the classic Chinese dish with egg, shrimp, and Chinese sausage, though that's not the only twist the menu harbors. Savory crepes brim with shrimp, pork and sprouts in the Vietnamese tradition, rather than the traditional French style of filling a crepe with a baguette. The menu even touches on Thai flavors with a tabeletop hot pot in which diners cook their own mussels and shrimp with in a spicy broth.
After 9 p.m., diners are invited to enjoy live music in the restaurant.
You'll detect hints of Asian spices in many of the dishes at 7 Sea Sports Bar and Grill, from the Thai Basil Cayenne that peppers the popcorn chicken to the Vietnamese barbeque sauce that glazes the Ngon Ngon burger. Aided by the skilled burger-smiths from Savori, the eatery's skilled chefs whip up Asian takes on American pub favorites and fold choice beef and fresh buns into the imaginative, Vietnamese-inspired burgers lauded by reporters from OC Weekly. The chef's Asian culinary influences shine brightest, however, in their sushi—traditional Japanese rolls made from fresh fish and crisp vegetables.
Customers lounge on cushy red banquettes out in the lively dining room, clinking glasses of lychee martinis and coconut margaritas beneath soft blue lighting. Appeasing diehard fans of sports or glowing rectangular devices, massive flat screens speckle the exposed brick walls.
Comedians Bob Perkell and Jeff Capri met through an act of deceit. When Perkell was gearing up for one of his first productions on the other side of the curtain, Capri called him to get a booking for one of the comedians he said he managed: Jeff Capri. But the charade didn't last long: the show was a success, Capri revealed his real identity, and, eventually, the two channeled their teamwork into a comedy club of their own. During Surf City’s shows, guests can order from a list of sweet, wine-centric cocktails and two dozen beers, including taps of Fat Tire and Shock Top.
In 2011, OC Weekly dubbed rock 'n' roll bar The Juke Joint one of the best bars of the year. Here, 20 craft, domestic, and international draft beers are served alongside cocktails and whiskey shots. With walls painted black, the bar invites patrons to spin a few songs on the jukebox, which blasts tunes ranging from punk and rockabilly to American roots music. The bar also hosts live music on a stage dedicated to the late Nekromantix drummer Andrew Martinez. Five pool tables facilitate friendly games and official billiards tournaments, and free WiFi makes it easy to upload the photos that will be deleted tomorrow.
After memorizing the menu, start a food-eating contest with yourself by devouring a basket of chili-cheese fries (shoestring fries, $2.99, plus jack-and-cheddar chili mix, $1.29) or sixteen Angel wings tossed in your choice of one or two sauces (buffalo, blazing habanero, firecracker, Thai peanut, spicy barbecue, garlic parmesan, or blasphemy, $14.99). For the main event, chow down on a pulled-pork sandwich ($9.99), or the dos tacos, stuffed with steak or chicken and lettuce, cheddar and jack cheeses, and salsa inferno, and served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa ($7.49). Burgers, wraps, and pizzas fill out the remainder of the robust menu.