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Friday, April 4, 2003

After Dark

The Orange County Register

The After Dark Guy apologizes.

He just checked his mailbox and found 152,000 unopened letters. The After Dark Guy forgets to check his mailbox once in a while.

To make it up to you, the After Dark Guy will devote this entire column to answering your queries. The After Dark Guy had queries once, but a lotion cleared it up.

Q. Where should I go if I have a sudden urge for a mango martini?

A. If I were you, I would go directly to Chimayo at the Beach. Normally, I don't drink fruity martinis or chocolate martinis, but there are times when you must have a mango martini. It's a well-known fact.

What makes the mango martinis better here are the mangos. They are marinated in giant jars of vodka for five to seven days before they are deemed ready for your martini. I should warn you that this infusion of vodka does make the mango a little bitter, so don't expect a fruit rush when you bite into them. But the liquid is sweet, and a few of those mangos will have a definite impact on your mood.

Q. I'm from Detroit and I'm homesick. What should I do?

A. First, stick your head in a freezer and then have a friend hit you over the head with a tire iron. When you awake, head to the club Detroit on Saturday night. This Costa Mesa hot spot has nothing in common with the Motor City except the name. However, this weekend, the lively R&B group OO Soul is scheduled to perform. I haven't seen these guys in a while, but I remember that they always put on a great show.

Q. I like funny women. Where can I get help?

A. You're in luck. Tonight and Saturday, Martini Blues is hosting semifinal rounds of California's Funniest Female Contest. This is the follow-up to last year's wildly successful search for Orange County's funniest person. Comedian and promoter Bill Word came up with that idea as a way to boost his regular Thursday-night comedy shows at the blues club. The shows were packed, and this new contest is even more popular.

It is possible that this weekend's shows are sold out, so call in advance. But Martini Blues has two showrooms, and the second is still devoted to the blues, so it still might be worth a visit.

The finals of California's Funniest Female Contest will be held April 12.

Q. I like classic cars. I like Elvis. I'm also free on Friday nights. Where can I go?

A. Not even Graceland can offer you more than the Croo ner's Lounge in Garden Grove. Each Friday night, there is a classic car show out front on Main Street in "historic" Garden Grove. After you've seen the cars, drop into the coolest bar in Orange County, where the King's memory lives. Elvis is so happening in this place that the Presley estate once got jealous enough to threaten legal action.

No nasty suits were filed, but the bar's owner had to promise to tone down the Elvis-related advertising. But we are not bound by their threats. You can enjoy an excellent martini, one of the bar's eye-opening garlic tacos and then wallow in everything Elvis. There are more than 300 Elvis tunes on the jukebox, and thousands of pieces of memorabilia line the walls. If you don't like the King, don't bother.

Q. Why aren't there more places for people over 30 to dance?

A. This is the question the After Dark Guy hears most often. The answer is simple: Club owners do not think you go out more than once a week, and they don't think you spend enough money when you do go out. You wanted an answer.

Chimayo at the Beach, 315 Pacific Coast Highway (at the foot of the pier), Huntington Beach; (714) 374-7273.

Detroit, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa; (949) 642-0130.

Martini Blues, 5874 Edinger Ave. (in the Vons shopping center), Huntington Beach; (714) 840-2129.

Crooner's Lounge, 12911 Main St. (in the Azteca restaurant in historic downtown), Garden Grove; (714) 638-3790.

CONTACT US: (714) 796-5051, Ext. 1110, or
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