Where to Mingle When You’re Single on Valentines Day

PH 17Whether in a relationship or not, the big V Day always comes with pressure to either find the perfect place to spend the most romantic night out, or a fun atmosphere to mingle while you’re single! Although Valentine’s Day has always been an American staple, I love that many events, bars, and restaurants are also embracing Single Awareness Day. And why not?! I feel that people who are single have just as much right to celebrate as couples do being in a relationship. It’s been fun the past few years watching what different venues come up with to attract single patrons over couples looking for a romantic dinner. If you think about it, this really needed to happen as some restaurants are getting ridiculously expensive the night of the 14th and surrounding weekends. Most high end restaurants in the Socal area typically offer a set menu at raised “all inclusive” prices that could be as high as $150+tax and tip per person! Ok so wait, not only are you inflating your prices over the holiday, but now I can’t even eat what I want?! No, thanks.

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Luckily, in the beautiful city of Huntington Beach, we have options! At The Shorebreak Hotel right off of Pacific Coast Highway and in the heart of Surf City USA, is the best craft cocktail bar in Orange County, the Pacific Hideaway.  As you should already know, I am a craft cocktail enthusiast, and love tasting and learning about all the various and creative ways to make one particular drink. I’ve come to learn that a real craft cocktail should technically take at least 5 minutes to make, and sometimes up to 8 minutes if it’s a complicated recipe! Although I don’t believe it takes him quite as long, Lead Bartender Casey Lyons has come up with the most spectacular and  cutting edge cocktail menu in our area including the infamous Dazed and Confused which comes with a sage “joint” smoking on the side. Of course, the upcoming V-day event is no exception to his innovation!

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Lead Bartender of Pacific Hideaway and Craft Cocktail Connoisseur, Casey Lyons

Along with Director of Food and Beverage, Blake Mathias, they have come up with the most appropriate and exclusive cocktails to honor what they refer to as Single Awareness Night. “I wanted to give local Huntington Beach a place to not only enjoy an amazing atmosphere and incredible cocktails, but where singles can come to mingle and feel comfortable without romantic pressure,” Mathias says of his take on the reverse holiday.

With 3 brand new craft cocktails created by Lyons especially for the occasion, they certainly succeeded! I had the opportunity to go with one of my friends Felicia, (aka PrettyPoorThing) to taste their new creations and I was not only satisfied but completely impressed. With names such a 99 Problems and Swipe Right, Pacific Hideaway definitely embraces singles and encourages bad, yet mostly good decisions.

Can you guess which one is which from the above? My favorite was definitely the Pears & The Bees, which was a concoction of Sky Pear Vodka, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup, Apple Juice, and Aperol and tasted like heaven in my mouth. Let me tell you, if you’re single and have a few of these, you may not be single by the end of the night!

Even if in relationship,  if you’re looking to get away from the cheesy romantic nuances that come with the most dreaded holiday ever, Pacific Hideaway at the Shorebreak is the place to check out! If you’re single, then go just to tag yourself with a drink that says “Swipe Right” because, well, it’s better to drink then actually swipe right…PH 13

 

 

@Fullofsips

Take the Tapas by its horns and head to Pueblo!

Pueblo 21Have you ever been to a Tapas bar? Although becoming more and trendy, Tapas bars are still not as popular as I wish they would be in the states, however, I do see a growing trend which I’m excited about! The reason I feel they haven’t flourished as much as they could is because of the trained american appetite of always eating more than the stomach can handle. Tapas are considered to be “small bites”, so I feel that people associate these with being hungry after the experience.  First of all, lets clarify the word “Tapas”. Tapas are considered to be Spanish appetizers that are specifically served with cocktails and before a meal, although many of us consider an array of tapas just enough! In the US, this has become a sophisticated way of getting together for appetizers and not over stuffing yourself and I love it!

Last month, I had the pleasure of enjoying a “staycation” with the SoCal Blogger Babes in Costa Mesa. During our amazing stay (not to mention the fun sips I had all weekend), we had the opportunity of having our last night dinner at this amazing new restaurant called Pueblo, known for their Tapas and family style atmosphere. Fact: Pueblo in English means Town. After researching the culture and experiencing the hospitality of Pueblo, I find that this meaning is derived from the aspiration of creating a place to make memories around good food, good drink, and good company…my motto!

 

Although clearly sophisticated in style and taste, Pueblo strives to create a classy, yet affordable experience. Their menu consists of everything from a charcuterie board to heavier bites, to full dish paellas, one of their specialties! Unfortunately, they currently do not have the licensing fees to have a full bar, and serve liquor, however they have come up with amazing innovative cocktails using a wine based alcohol that even non-wine drinkers would enjoy. The first drink I had I didn’t even know wasn’t hard alcohol!

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One of Pueblo’s delicious wine based cocktails:  The Palomarita- Sabe blanco, grapefruit sour mix, agave, and of course a salt rim!

Pueblo 22We tried many of the tapas on the menu, however I’d have to say my absolute favorite was the Montadito de Costillo which is short rib cooked two ways: braised and crudo (raw). It’s one of those bites you have to eat all at once to get in all of the flavors and it’s honestly one of the most delicious combinations of flavors I’ve ever tasted! I also highly recommend getting a charcuterie board as their cheese and meat selections are suburb and in compliments of one another no matter the selection. If you know me, you know I hate goat cheese (and blue cheese, but irrelevant at the moment). Although not pictured, one of my other favorite items on the menu was the Queso Fundido which actually had a goat cheese base but was mixed with so many delicious flavors it was unnoticeable!

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My favorites from the charcuterie board were the Pan con tomate which was a tomato spread with roasted garlic and olive tapenade on ciabatta bread and the 
Jamon Serrano  which is 8 months dry cured ham

Whether for a date night with your sweetie, or a fantastic dinner before a show at the Segerstrom Center for Arts, Pueblo should definitely be your next excursion into the Spanish culture of Tapas! Allow yourself to relax, enjoy the company, and allow Pueblo to immerse you into the trend of making memories amongst eclectic food in small bites.

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@fullofsips