1. The Bungalow
It’s like you’re kicking back at the shorefront pad of a celeb circa the ’50s, and it’s the work of hospitality mogul Brent Bolthouse, who created this year-old Pacific City hot spot. Throughout the many spaces (patio, billiards room, lounge), midcentury furniture (his muse: Ray Eames) meets art from musician Brandon Boyd and photos from Cuba that Bolthouse snapped on his Leica M. Toast it all with the Endless Summer (ask for a West African miracle berry to elevate its sweetness), and bask in the glow.
2. The Guild Club
Leave it to Marín Howarth von Blöm and Noah von Blöm to create O.C.’s most luxe lounge. Hidden at SoCo and open only to its cadre of members, it serves a late 19th century fine dining experience from the first step inside. “[It’s] as if you’ve walked into the finest absinthe party,” says Noah. There’s an elevated stage (for acts like JP Orchestra to play), crystal glassware (for tippling Koire Rogers’ off-menu First Class) and 24K gold flatware (for slicing the Brie en croute).
Its name teases us with the prospect of an escape, and the sensation grows when we peruse cocktail curator Aaron Reid’s list of libations at the Costa Mesa club’s handcarved wood bar. They’re iconic in nomenclature, with the Bubbly Hepburn (Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne), the Bennie Sent Me (Maker’s Mark 46) and the Red Betty (with Tito’s vodka—poured once the clandestine, soon-to-come Red Room shines its hue). And this month, listen for tips on national music acts.
4. House of Blues
The music venue hit a high note when it debuted its new digs at the Anaheim GardenWalk, with its indoor-outdoor eatery, main hall and exclusive Foundation Room, accessed via an elevated, private walkway that looks over the scene below. The opulent decor (leather and velvet sofas, an art deco ceiling) is befitting of the experience. Members get priority ticketing, VIP seats, concierge and bottle service (order the Texas chicken lollipops and the Sacred Sage with Creyente Mezcal—one of the select cocktails), and the scoop on aftershow parties. Souled out.