El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, San Diego
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 237 0550
Concierge.com's insider take:
These days, anyone with a strainer seems to call him- or herself a mixologist, but the spirit slingers behind the bar at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge are the real deal. The ice there is perfectly cubed, and there's a daily selection of freshly squeezed juices and a seasonally changing menu—the fall selection highlights one-off recipes such as the Honey Badger (premium rye, honey, and bitters). In spite of the barkeeps' waxing poetic about black rum and a DJ scene that constantly tries to drown them out, El Dorado is the most welcoming hipster saloon this side of Brooklyn. Locals in the red booths or at the long bar welcome visitors with neighborly hellos, while a wall-mounted white buffalo gazes fondly down at the indie kids and revival-rock bands below.—Audrey Davidow
Open Saturdays through Thursdays 7 pm to 2 am, Fridays 5 pm to 2am.