Ian Pike 9:11 a.m., May 24
San Diego is home to a couple of speakeasy bars, including Prohibition and Noble Experiment. These places are exclusive, and hidden. My husband reserved 4 spots a couple months back at Noble Experiment, and it involved texting and phone calls to confirm the reservation and location, and then trekking into the back of a restaurant to check in with a hostess behind a secret door before being in. Take a look at their secretive web site: The only information you're going to get is a phone number and an email; no address, online reservation, or drink list.
Both Prohibition and Noble Experiment are open Wednesday through Saturday 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Prohibition has a secret entrance in the guise of a lawyer's office and Noble Experiment is hidden behind a wall of beer kegs; both bars are in the Gaslamp area.
Prohibition's drink highlights include The Kensington (AKA Punch-in-the-Groin), made with gin, Cocchi Americano, Negroni; and Mi Deseo, made with tequila, habanero, cinnamon, and fruit. Noble Experiment's drink menu changes often, but highlights include The Rattlesnake, made with absinthe, egg whites, and lemon; and Penicillin, made with Laphroaig Scotch, honey and ginger. Drinks cost about $12 at both venues.
The bars have a strict dress code: No sneakers, sandals, shorts, or caps. No cell phones at the bar. Collared shirts are required for men. And Prohibition explicitly states, "No unsolicited advances on female patrons." There is no cover and reservations are required.