Our St. Paddy's Irish Bar Breakdown
Since Thursday evening, slowly but surely I've been training my body for Tuesday's inevitable hangover with shots of whiskey and Guinness, corned beef and hash and shepherds pie like a good Irish girl, bikini season be damned.
Jackie Connor The crowd at Silky Sullivan's is spirited in more ways than one
Whether you decided to sacrifice a sick day to the HR gods or at 5 p.m. you're butt will be glued to the bar stool with a guinness in hand, there are plenty of watering holes worth your time this St. Patrick's Day, each with their own drunken charm. Strap on your green beer goggles and lets take a look at a few, shall we?
Most Creative Name: Silky Sullivan's Restaurant and Bar (Fountain Valley):
Anything remotely related to Ireland most likely comes with a long elaborate story. It's best told by an older guy who might be prone to exaggeration. Silky Sullivan's name originated from one of the best "come-from-behind" racing horses who's parents were from Ireland. Everything in restaurant-bar is based around Silky Sullivan, Irish culture and sports. This spot has been around since 1984 and sits directly across the street from Fountain Valley City Hall and caddy-corner to the police station. It was one of the first establishments to feature televised sports in Orange County. The owner made sure the long lines that would form outside the bar on game days were satisfied by personally playing each game in the joint. Their menu features all traditional style Irish faire along with some specialties from the kitchen, like pub curls...all I know is they are cheesy and fried and apparently, very tasty. Give them a shot.
Best Irish dive: O'Hara's Pub (Orange):
Jackie Connor The American Wake plays Flogging Molly Covers at Silky Sullivan's in Fountain Valley.
Now where would my bar list be without a good old dive?! Paying your respects to your local Irish pub, especially on St Patty's, is like paying homage to your parents or grandparents: you know you have to do it at least once a year and you know despite the fact that it's usually out of your social circle, it's one of those things that has to be done and you walk away happier...or was that the Jameson talking? Replace visiting beloved parents with 'braving the locals who have been soaking their brains in Jameson all evening' and guy in a leather kilt guarding the door and you get O'Hara's Pub. After I stumbled through the doors and a bartender in a kilt poured me a Guinness, I didn't hesitate to stick around and share some laughs with the local culture. Of course I had to ask: "So are you wearing this kilt traditional style?"
His response: "Let's put it this way: If I wasn't, this would be considered a skirt, not a kilt."
This bar might not be the place to order corned beef and hash and take in some live Irish jigs, but it's certainly the place to raise a glass of Guinness with your newly proclaimed best friends.
Most Upscale Irish Pub: Muldoon's pub (Newport Beach):
Jackie Connor There are no strangers at O'Hara's Pub in Orange!
The exact opposite of the last bar is, of course, located in Newport Beach. Budget was no issue to create this most authentic Irish pub. In fact I don't think budget is much of an issue to anyone as all I saw in the parking lot: Beamers, Mercedes and Ferraris as far as the eye can see! The interior's brick walls are lined with Irish blessings, rod iron gaelic designs and a healthy supply of framed vintage guinness posters along with a man in a traditional Irish getup who serenades everyone's shepherd pies and guinness consumption with traditional Irish tunes on the bagpipes. Golf is on the tube and the crowd is between a well-dressed 30 years old to khakis and golf caps 60 plus. If you're looking for a mellow St Patty's day experience, this spot is your ticket, although I will admit it was insanely entertaining to watch six old people in golf polos and cardigans chug Irish car bombs like old pros. Along with the obvious emerald apparel, make sure you bring the other type of green that we wish grew on trees. Shit's expensive!
Staple saying: "Slàinte" which means "Cheers" in Gaelic.