Some workdays tend to be a little tougher than usual, so the best thing I do to relax is by going out on a Happy Hour Adventure! I headed on over right around the corner from work because it seems like my office building is surrounded by restaurants and bars. I was able to find a place tucked in a side street surrounded by a variety of local businesses.

 

 

Campus Jax is right next to the John Wayne Airport or Orange County Airport, whatever you prefer. So if you are looking for a local spot to head on over to right after flying in, I’d say this a great spot. With it being right next to the airport that is one sound that is very prevalent, the sound of planes roaring above you as you eat and drink at this establishment.

 

The stage for Live Music

 

When you go to the website it mentions that Campus Jax is a supper club filled with live music 6 days a week. They start anytime between 6-8 at any given time throughout the week. However, for this upcoming Friday, they will be holding a candle lighting gathering for Christina Mauser. Christina was an assistant basketball coach and wife to the singer of the Tijuana Dogs. For those of you that don’t know, she was one of the individuals who crashed on the helicopter with Kobe Bryant. The Tijuana Dogs play there quite a bit, so they wanted to have something special to honor her memory. I would love to see them perform at one point in time. I did not come at the right time on this particular day, but I would love to check it out another day to get a more energetic feel to the place.

 

Happy Hour menu

 

As your fellow Adventurer in discovering OC Happy Hours in the area, I do want to apologize. I did forget to get a picture of the side cocktail Happy Hour menu, which listed some of the discounted prices. I’m sure I’ll get a chance to get back there again and when I do I will make sure to update the blog with it. Luckily, everything I ordered was on the menu above! A 4-hour Happy Hour is definitely in the running of being one of the longer ones, but Mondays they have it going all night! You sure can’t beat an all night long Happy Hour.

 

Hurricane

 

The one thing that drew my eye even when I was first researching this Happy Hour was the Hurricane! As mentioned before I love rum and pineapple. Honestly, just rum, in general, is what makes me happy. When I saw that they had a $6 Hurricane, I knew I just had to get it. I actually had the opportunity to try a Hurricane right where they were invented at Pat O’Briens. Not just any old Pat O’Briens, but the one in New Orleans! Getting this drink definitely brought up my memories of being there. I would like to give a shoutout to Marina for making this one extra strong, which I appreciate. It may have been a bit too strong, but I know I’m getting my money’s worth. Marina let me know that their Passion juice mix is a combination of orange, cranberry, and of course pineapple!

 

View of the bar from my seat

 

Before I get on with the food, I just wanted to talk about all the bartenders that were in the area. Courtney, Cassidy, and Marina were the three that were working behind the bar when I arrived. The place was pretty empty, probably because it was only 4 pm. So I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to the three of them. Marina’s 22-year-old son was starting his very first day with the fire department and was going to be at the station for a full 72 hours. Cassidy actually used to work for Disney at the Blue Bayou as a server. So with the cajun cuisine that is served at the restaurant, it translated a bit. However, when she first started there 3 years ago she didn’t have any bartending experience. So she has gone quite a way since leaving Disney since Disneyland didn’t have alcohol to everyone at the time. I didn’t get too much of a chance to talk with Courtney, but when she found out that I used to work at Disney, she made a joke to Cassidy about it.

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

 

There was actually one other person that I talked to before I ordered the delicious item above and that was Jen. Jen is actually one of the chefs for Campus Jax! She has actually recently been working with Marsh Mokhtari who was the host for the first season of Extreme Chef. I am not very familiar with him or the show, but now I will definitely check it out. Marsh Mokhtari actually has his own gin named, Gray Whale Gin. He is from England, so it would make sense that he created his own gin since that’s where it originated from. However, his gin is unique because he traveled along the California coast to find botanicals right next to where the gray whales migrate. Jen has actually been creating some menu items that would pair nicely with his gin, so next time I go it may not be for Happy Hour, but for these new items.

 

Now for the food! From Jen’s recommendation, I ordered the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. Even before she recommended them to me I was actually already eyeing them. I have heard of them, but I never have had the chance to sample them yet. I decided to go on a route that I normally would not go and took a gamble. Boy did that gamble pay off! The cauliflower is first deep-fried, I know, I guess that doesn’t make them as healthy as they should be. Then she tossed them in a secret blend of spices that is used on a couple of other menu items. She was not allowed to divulge the secrets of this blend, unfortunately. At the first bite, I instantly fell in love! I was expecting them to be covered in buffalo sauce, but it was the spices that just mimicked the flavor of buffalo sauce. The cauliflower itself was perfectly cooked and seasoned beautifully. I know buffalo is in the name, but these were not spicy at all. Just in case you are worried then it is served with ranch dressing to cool things down. I also enjoyed the touch of some cilantro and red onions in the dish.

 

Quote above the bar

 

I’m glad I was able to come in at the time that I did because I got the chance to get to know the staff more compared to my past adventures. It is always great to learn more about the wonderful people that make a bar and restaurant run. Just as the sign says, I guess my timing coming into the bar truly was never random.
I’m going to start something new. I will begin giving ratings to each of the Happy Hour Adventures I go on. I think as I go on more Happy Hours my critique will be a little more accurate since I will have more to compare to. I will base it on 5 different categories: Ambiance, Food/Drink, Price, Service, and Overall. Since I enjoy rum and pineapples I figured I’d use pineapples as my rating scale.
Ambiance:
Food/Drink:
 
Price:
 
Service:

Overall:

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