or a bar tucked away in the middle of Bali. Instead, the neat edges of
the bamboo and the manicured wood give away that this is definitely not
off a beaten path -- rather, this is a bit of exploration right around
the corner in Costa Mesa.
On Friday and Saturday nights, however, Din Din tries to shake it up with
a bit of music to entertain customers chatting the night away over beers
and Asian appetizers.
Four months ago Deborah Young and Chris Ayayo, the restaurant's managers,
started the trend and began showcasing different bands each week ranging
in style from alternative pop to swing. The restaurant will serve food
until the band stops playing, which can sometimes mean as late as 1 a.m.
They recently featured an '80s rock band called Smiling Faces Down. The
band which sounded like a combination of The Ramones and Psychedelic
Furs, was an unusual stretch for the restaurant. However, a loyal
following showed up and listened to the group, which had been playing
together for 10 years.
Usually, Young said they have groups that play swing or rockabilly like
Royal Crown Revue; blues and acid jazz like Manasseh; alternative pop
like the Dave Matthews band; and sometimes even reggae.
The extensive menu is filled with Chinese delicacies that were passed
down to Young, who is the third generation of restaurateurs in her
family. The selection of appetizers start with the traditional pot
stickers and for the more adventurous there is the Hibachi platter.
Prices range from $1.50 to $12.95. The dish is filled with such items as
shrimp skewers, beef skewers, ribs, paper-wrapped chicken -- all
surrounding a ceramic pot with a warm blue flame.
The drinks menu is just as colorful. It's filled with a long list of
amusingly named umbrella drinks such as the Bird of Paradise and
Fogcutter and martinis like the Electric Lemonade and The Wave Prices.
There is also a wine list, with dessert and plum wine. Din Din also
features a selection of beers from throughout Asia, as well as American
microbrewery beer for the more traditional drinker. Prices range from
$3.50 for a glass of sake to $5.50 for a martini.