Do you like less pucker power but more nuance in your cocktail? And would you like to lap up said liquid in a refined, if still casual, setting? If so, and if you're also a big fan of retro-snazzy, then you can't beat Mitchell's Ocean Club.

The bar exam: Do you like less pucker power but more nuance in your cocktail? And would you like to lap up said liquid in a refined, if still casual, setting? If so, and if you're also a big fan of retro-snazzy, then you can't beat Mitchell's Ocean Club.

Esta casa es su casa: With its beautiful wood, dynamic furnishings, a terrific singing piano man (he's long on Bobby Short-type jazzy standards) and a breeze rustling sheer curtains near the pretty second-floor patio, this place is lovely and romantic. And very relaxed - as the self-consciously untucked shirts of its bartenders quickly confirms.

Tale of the cocktail: The Thymeless Margarita ($10) might be named wrong - it has thyme in it - but it's made right. The juice of one freshly squeezed lime mixes with Grand Marnier and some faintly thyme-scented simple syrup. The ensuing shaken delight is light, more aromatic than tart and certainly not too sweet.

Margarita munchies: The Ocean Club special bar menu has plenty of lusty, cheap-priced eats, such as irresistible, deeply grill-flavored Kobe Sliders served with handmade biggie fries, or a cascading tumble of wispy Onion Straws sided with a homemade, multi-horsepowered horseradish sauce. The "Thymeless" margarita is a highly efficient grease dissolver for these snacks.