Friday, March 11, 2011

BlackBook Mag reviews Culinary Sound

Huntington Beach Nightlife Goes Upscale with ‘Culinary Sound' by Charlie Amter.

Huntington Beach, just south of Los Angeles, is known for its infamous pick-up scene at bars such as Sharkeez, but it’s less well known for upscale lounges, though the city has a few. Joie De Vivre’s new-ish Shorebreak Hotel has been slowly winning over skeptical Orange County residents with a low-key yet posh lounge attached to its restaurant, Zimzala. This spring, the hotel is raising the game on its second floor destination with a new series of events dubbed Culinary Sound, aimed at a demographic hungry for upscale food and nightlife that transcends the bimbo-and-himbo scene found just blocks away on Main Street.

Every other Wednesday night (the next event is March 23), Zimzala morphs into a no-cover DJ-driven lounge with Wally Callerio spinning smart house music. But the best part of the party might be the pop-up shop, which features a diverse group of clothing designers and boutiques with everything from t-shirts, sweaters, and dresses to aromatherapy candles.

So does Culinary Sound portend a shift in Huntington Beach nightlife towards upmarket mingling and away from $3 shot specials at frat-rock dives? It’s too soon to tell, but this spring, Orange County residents seem happy to explore a new after-dark option in a city lacking in casual settings to drink, shop, and socialize all at once.

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