Noble Experiment is a swanky speakeasy hidden behind a secret door in The Neighborhood. They serve bespoke cocktails, and are at the forefront of craft libations in San Diego. Decked out in golden skulls, this lounge is not for the forever asleep. Get a reservation, and enter the most fun experiment you’ll ever be apart of.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
Experimentation is the practice of formulating and enacting a detailed procedure, well thought out, with a purpose to determine something and the burning ambition to make a statement. It gives birth to new ideas that live within the shadows of our ever-questioning human mind. Because how else do we venture into the quest to answer the questions we can’t see?
Appropriately done, every experiment needs a controlled setting and a laboratory. But where is the line drawn when the research becomes lifestyle? When the test becomes a reality in a lab hidden to any naked eye? Especially when the goal is to shatter the fabric of an ordinary social setting and to gather, drink, and experience thoughts and conversation of the most electrifying type? The test in question doesn’t follow a regular trial and error. This experiment is for the aristocratic, a noble one indeed, but is very clearly being run by mad scientists.
Cue the thunder and lighting and the buzz of a Tesla-coil-inspired manmade machine that roars at the pull of a lever. And don’t forget the maniacal laughter that follows suit, echoing through empty halls. That same laughter, the one that starts deep and seems almost arrogant and wrathful, is what will escape your lips when you find San Diego’s hidden laboratory, the Noble Experiment.
brass skulls are organized along an entire wall, igniting a sense of intoxicating danger that would even make Indiana Jones look over his shoulder.
It can be found within the gastropub The Neighborhood, so you must first guide yourself down an elusive hallway leading to a dead end of stacked kegs. If scientific research has proved anything, it’s that one should always keep wondering what might be on the other side. Give the kegs a push and you’ve discovered what is secretly known as San Diego’s best cocktail lounge.
Bright white booths serve as a seat for the insane subjects that have fallen into a deep trance thanks to the bartender’s practices. Mid-century art is hung on the ceiling, making patrons question which way is up or down, and lines of brass skulls are organized along an entire wall, igniting a sense of intoxicating danger that would even make Indiana Jones look over his shoulder. Consider each one of these bony faces a tribute to the test subjects that have come before you.
Whatever your poison may be, Noble offers your favorite ideas of a traditional cocktail and adds its creative expression with a small touch. The true undertaking here is to rewind the clock to simpler times but still add elements that spark a feeling that has you spinning to try and describe. The drink list was concocted with a culinary seasonal approach in liquid form but stays true to classic tactics. We recommend ordering the dealer’s choice and leaving it in the hands of the mad scientist behind the bar to deliver an exclusive cup of harmony devised just for you. The experiment has been a major success, as many seek out this lounge like zombies hiding from light of day, so be sure to arrive early or call to reserve a seat.
During a visit, there will be a moment in which you’re deep in hypnotized conversation with your bartender. They will slide another intoxicating creation your way, and time will stop. You may think you’re in control in this moment. You’re not. You’ve become the experiment, you are the test subject, and the result has captured you. Consider your skull coated with brass and do us a favor… when the sun rises and you enter back to the real world, where the naive masses walk in a single file line dressed in suits and ties with a homogenized coffee in hand, stay a true cloak-and-dagger test subject and keep this mad laboratory a secret.
It’s a small but intimate space. Grab a seat at the bar, and dive into their cocktail menu
Before acting a fool, turn around to face a wall full of golden skulls, and ask yourself: How did they get there?
In need of shelter for the night? We recommend The Pendry Hotel
Like all speakeasies the fun is finding it.