Shoulder angels panic at the sight of a wall of whiskey.
3054 University Avenue, San Diego
There’s no room for shoulder angels at Seven Grand. They already had their share. They’re afraid of the tartan carpet and the dark wood paneling. They panic at the sight of the wall of whiskey. They want to know where the PBR is, but they have to glumly order a $5 High Life and hide in the corner as far as possible from the stags, jackalopes, displays of rare whiskey and cigars that summon visions of old men with mutton-chops and shotgun collections.
Not that any Highland barons or Tennessee gentlefolk will be setting foot inside Seven Grand anytime soon. The patrons seem displaced from downtown in their collared shirts, cocktail dresses, and occasional Ed Hardy. Yup, this L.A.-owned lounge is definitely the next step in the re-scening of North Park. Tattoo’d, Tecate-quaffing hipsters have already ceded Seven Grand to the young professional types who can afford to drop upwards of $25 on a glass of whiskey from time to time.
The sarcastic shoulder devil says, “Sweet, another place with stuffed animal heads on the walls. I bet the bartenders wear suspenders.”
The thirsty shoulder devil says, “Holy shit, dude, look at all that whiskey!”
In all fairness, the crowd is amicable. They seem to appreciate the finer things in life more than kicking in your head “True North style.” Getting served can take forever because the labor-intensive cocktails put the barkeeps in the weeds when the place gets busy, but the wait is mostly worth it.
The whiskey selection is beyond killer. Even being unfamiliar with whiskey drinking, it’s easy to have a mind-bendingly delicious experience tasting strange, often expensive, whiskeys from parts familiar and unknown. If a $13 glass of rye can taste that good, imagine the gustatory assault that a $60 glass of spirits will deliver to the tastebuds! Cocktails ($10 whiskey-based and otherwise) are elevated to fine art at Seven Grand. The old-fashioned, while perhaps a touch sweet, is addictive and made with Maker’s instead of cheap hooch. Good as it is, it plays second fiddle to the mint julep, which is like the Kentucky Derby and Gone with the Wind doing burnouts in the General Lee on your tastebuds.
Take that, shoulder devils!
- Location: 3054 University Avenue
- Hours: 8 p.m.–2 a.m. daily
- Happy: They’re working on it
- Cards: Definitely