805 Bar and Grilled Cheese
1575 Spinnaker Drive
Brophy Bros. Restaurant and Clam Bar
1559 Spinnaker Drive
If you’re one of the lucky ones to live at or near the coast, the heat hasn’t been so bad. But consider this: When one is used to temperatures in the 60s, the 90s can feel like living hell. So it is that we turned to fruity, refreshing beverages at the Ventura Harbor on a muggy Friday evening.
First, we took to dinner with a sandwich at 805 Bar and Grilled Cheese. To pair, we had a slew of options. We sat in the attached Copa Cubana, sister restaurant to 805, where we were able to partake in the restaurant’s cocktails along with the standard on-tap faire, which included Goose Island IPA and, of course, Firestone’s 805 blonde.
But as we were feeling the island vibe, what with the tropical moisture in the air, we went for the piña colada — available to us via Copa Cubana — and the Cuba Libre, a cocktail utilizing rum, Coca Cola and lime.
Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was due to the fact that our server admitted to not being the bartender and instead “winging it” a bit, but both were as strong as the high-pressure system parked over the Midwest at the moment.
Returning to the 805 menu, we had just missed happy hour, which runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. We were not deterred, however, and ordered the Bloody Mary. Many iterations of this classic cocktail miss the mark on the balance between spicy and savory; 805’s rendition toes the line, a subtle heat marked with a distinct briny pop.
Next we made our way to Brophy Bros to cap the night, where I ordered a coffee. Well, not exactly. The Keoke coffee cocktail, with Kahlua coffee liquer and whipped cream, immediately followed by the famous Bloody Mary — a must-have at Brophy’s.
On the patio, the warm breeze began to flow over us as yachts pulled in for the evening. If sipping a whipped cream-topped cocktail next to the water while fanning yourself with a napkin is wrong, I don’t want to be right!
Chris O’Neal loves those tiny umbrellas. Follow him on Instagram @atchrisoneal.