Finn McCool's, an Irish Pub
2702 Main Street (@ Hill)
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Launch parties. Remember those? It was waaaay back in the day, up in the Bay area, when the web was exploding all over the place into golden shrapnel, angels raining free rounds of funding on bits and bytes and the promise of a dot calm before a hailstorm of amazon proportions, eye-pee-ohs up the yin yang, and every other day there was impossibly extravagant party with free food, free vodka flowing like liquid diamonds, free *other* substances, free everything, for some dot com’s launch? Yeah, I remember those *nostalgic sigh* Okay, so those days are long gone, but still I cling because, well, I’m just clingy like that and can’t let go, okay?!
Well, today’s party may not be quite as decadent and elaborate as those of nineteen ninety...oh, what year was that again? Heck, it’s not even a tangible event, but ismyblogburning.com is having a virtual party to celebrate its relaunch as the central calendar repository for the food blogosphere’s virtual events. It all started with the event for which the site is named, Is My Blog Burning? – the Godfather of food blogging events that’s now going into its 19th edition; the Granddaddy that spawned events like Sugar High Friday, Wine Blogging Wednesday, and even End of the Month Eggs on Toast Extravaganza.
The launch party is BYOB, but since I don’t like beer at all unless it’s a Corona Light that’s been drowned in the juice of at least a dozen limes, I couldn’t bring myself to buy a whole keg for the party ;) so we’re off to Main Street in Santa Monica to have one glass, then chase it with Citron/sodas for the rest of the night.
Originally it was going to be Lula for above mentioned Corona, but for something different, we tried Finn McCool's, a very Irish pub that's actually owned by the same woman who owns Lula. Una cocina mexicana and an Irish pub - that makes a lot of sense. *chuckle*
Strange, I've never been to Ireland, but it sure feels like an authentic Irish pub inside Finn's. The space is dimly lit, all the furniture and walls are dark wood, there are very Irish-y looking objects hanging from the ceiling and walls, and smack in the center of the room is a 360 degree bar with rows of colorful shapely handles on two sides - for tapping the beer kegs. Doesn't quite get my tastebuds tangled into knots, but I'm sure there are quite a few boys who drool at the sight. Guinness? Hmm, world records, right?
We didn't quite make it in time for the Happy Hour specials at Finn McCool's, so we took a peek at the regular menu, which is half typical bar foods like Buffalo chicken wings and onion rings, half California style salads and sandwiches, and half Irish cuisine. Wait, half plus half plus...don't worry, that's not half as confusing as Indian spiced Bombay chicken listed under the Traditional Irish Fayre. Our bartender-ess, with her fairly heavy Irish accent, put us into quite the enthusiastic Irish spirit, so we ordered fried calamari. LOL! And as if Mexican/Irish kitchen cousins and curry categorized with the colcannon wasn't Irish enough, we ordered Stella Artois to drink, because...it's Belgian.
I can't comment much on the beer, but it did look very pretty in its own special glass, especially against Finn's green marbled bar top, special-effects-lit from underneath. If it didn't have a name tag, Stella would have tasted just like Bud Light to me, but then again, maybe I am biased. ;) The calamari was just fine, if not just slightly soggy. It was nothing to write home about, but I never expect to write my Mom about my bar adventures. She doesn't have email.
There is probably a wonderful mythology associated with Finn McCool, but I'll leave that to someone else to research and comment. I'm lazy, and just want to (launch) party like it's 1999!