777 G. St
San Diego, CA 92101
Eclectic Music Mix (50s, Lounge, Indie, Jazz)
Classic Cocktails, NO BEER
Nathan Stanton, of East Village’s wildly popular and eccentric upscale dive, El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, has teamed up with like-minded, Arsalun Tafazoli, owner of the refined gastro pub, Neighborhood, to create a sanctuary far and away from their usual noisiness. The Noble Experiment is the product of tradition, passion, disciplined service, and technique; None of which you would expect if walked into the electro-havoc that is El Dorado late on a Saturday night or really any night at Neighborhood. Yet, these men are serious about their cocktails, and they are determined to share their obsession…
To enter this classic cocktail haven, head inside Neighborhood, go towards the bathrooms, and have a little faith: The seemingly floor to ceiling wall of kegs is actually the entrance to the cocktail parlor. Push the whole lot-and find yourself a world and away from anything else you’ve ever seen in SD.
In the loosest sense of the term “speakeasy”, the Noble Experiment’s locale is not hidden to exclude the masses: According to Anthony Schmidt, Noble’s bartender, “We want people to seek us out: To come knowing what to expect, and allowing us to hopefully fulfill their expectations,” says Schmidt. “We want anyone to feel welcome to come in, sit at the bar, and enjoy a cocktail. We’re not a secret.”
Once inside, you’re greeted at the door by dark auburn paneled halls and the neon-glimmer of the NOBLE EXPERIMENT sign, casting a cool red glow.
Like all of designer Mauricio Couturier’s creations, including Voyeur & Super El Camino, you can expect to be mesmerized by an array of eye-catching curiosities: And the imaginative interior of The Noble Experiment is no different. The back wall is covered in 100s of gold skulls, while a gorgeous marble bar counter is affixed on beautifully carved lion sculptures. The ceiling is adorned with a lux hodge podge of paintings from an interesting range of eras & movements. White leather booths paired with mirrored-paneled lounge tables add an über-chic modern look tying in a sense timeless refinement. A gorgeous Swarovski crystal chandelier sparkles in the center of the room, clarifying any confusion as to whether or not PBR will be served here.
Behind the bar is where the real awe-inspiring practices take place: Under the direction of Sam Ross, head mixologist of NYC’s classic cocktail zenith, Milk & Honey, the entire staff underwent an intensive crash course; That involved relearning, and then mastering, the classic elements and methods of slinging perfectly handcrafted cocktails. Along with nailing down the techniques followed the task of learning nearly 400 different recipes – guaranteeing that there will be something to please any palette that comes through the door.
Although, of all things done to books, both Stanton and Tafazoli would agree that the most noble undertaking of them all is their ice blocks: Perfect, hand-cut ice blocks. Clear-enough-to-check-out-that-babe-across-bar-through-your-cocktail: clear. Despite all the extra effort to make, cut, and to shake these mini glaciers, they insist that perfect ice is essential to crafting the perfect classic concoction, and thus wouldn’t have it any other way. Extra icy-cold cocktails? Sounds prettay, prettay good to me.