San Diego, CA 92101
Live Music: Electro; Indie; Underground Hip Hop
Happy Hour Specials
The vibrant neon green glass pillars and the tired, red glow of its COCKTAILS sign are the only sources of light on its dark corner. But enter El Dorado — and you’ll see why the crowds have flocked here.
The interior is wacky: clearly by intention.
The interior pays tribute to the western frontier — if, that is, stagecoaches had red leather sofas and a jukebox. By virtue of the upbringing of the four owners – three brothers, Matt, Marshall, and Nathan, and their friend, Ryan Koontz– in the Pacific Northwest and their admiration for the American gold rush, they call their home El Dorado: an homage to the memory of the “city of gold.”
But if El Dorado knows how to stay true to anything, it is their dedication to crafting the classics: Behind the bar in their Prohibition-meets-Hipsterdom attire, the El Dorado boys and girls pour, muddle, and shake quality ingredients and house infused liquors until they become perfectly handcrafted classic cocktails with their own inspired twists on each.
Some of my favorites on the menu include the Corn n’ Oil ( Black Rum, Lime House made Falernum) and the Moscow Mule (Vodka, Lime, Ginger Beer, Aromatic bitters). If you’re a man’s man ask for the Whiskey Mule instead.
OFF the menu, and therefore for my favorite (the typical female “want-what-I-can’t-have” complex) is the Serrano Mojito. Watch out, it’s muy espicy!!! Ask for it only when the boys don’t look too busy, and tip well: Because muddling is mean, and because the service is AMAZING.
While waiting for your cocktail, check out what’s on El D TV: Perhaps an 80s era soft-porn exercise video might peak your interest? Movies about ninjas tickle your fancy? Miss Beetlejuice? Well, El D certainly has all your favorite VHS tapes; and then some. Check out to see what treat you are in for tonight. Like to keep it real? Then Otis will certainly put you into a tizzy. Who’s Otis? Oh, see thatdelightfully massive faux water buffalo head, just above the juke box? A treasure the El D boys found in the basement of the club upon moving in, in a box marked “Christmas Decorations”- that’s Otis: The Christmas Miracle.
Weeknights are Juke Box kind of nights – which could mean anything. The jukebox is filled with anything from Honky-tonk, hip hop, to electro. Thursday night is the more underground old school hip hop/indie kind of night; Whereas Friday & Saturday nights consist of hipster action, well-known and local indie DJs, superfluous themes, and unrelenting electro blaring from the speakers. In other words: my kind of party.