The East Bay's Hottest New Cocktail Lounges
Pomegranate Martini at Blend in Danville
Photography by Chi Young
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Other times, you want to head out to something new. Diablo decided to check out a few new East Bay locations for all you cocktail-quaffers in search of adventure.
Blend The newest entry in the 925 nightlife scene, Blend offers a sleek interior and trendy drinks like pomegranate martinis and mango margaritas. Beers and well cocktails are $2 from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. 519 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville, (925) 552-5363, www.blend519.com.
Easy Lounge This low-lit stylish bar has been pouring drinks on Lakeshore Avenue since last June. Libations for the sweet tooth include a peach Cosmo and a Mandarin lemon drop, but our bowler hat–sporting bartender also whipped up tasty whiskey- and scotch-based beverages for real men. Stop by after the Grand Lake farmers market on Saturday for $6 specialty cocktails until 5 p.m. 3255 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, (510) 338-4911, www.easy510.com
Izzy’s Steaks and Chops The Trophy Bar at this San Ramon steak house may feel like a jazz lounge from 1930s San Francisco, but one sip of the Mojito or the Hemingway daiquiri and you’ll be under a palm tree in Havana. 200 Montgomery St., San Ramon, (925) 830-8620, www.izzyssteaksandchops.com.
Levende East The sister of San Francisco’s uber-chic Levende Lounge, this new bar and restaurant in old Oakland offers margaritas galore and several South American specialties, such as the Caipirinha and the pisco sour. However, service can be inconsistent. On one visit, our waiter was rude, and the bar staff was inattentive. A follow-up visit provided much better results. 827 Washington St., Oakland, (510) 835-5585, www.levendeeast.com .
Metro Lafayette Jack Moore’s new restaurant has created a frenzy among local foodies, but it also has something for those who crave classic cocktails. Female bar-goers swooned over the sugar-rimmed sidecar, and your correspondent’s Manhattan, garnished with brandy-marinated cherries, was sublime. 3524 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 284-4422, www.metrolafayette.com .