As a downtown Anaheim resident, it seems like out-of-towners ask me where to eat and drink on a weekly basis, especially during thirsty conventions like Blizzcon or NAMM. People are often shocked when I say that a hotel has one of the best bars in the city: nFuse Restaurant, Bar & Lounge. Sure the Packing house is a destination on its own, but sometimes the best drink is the one that is closest to you, especially after walking the convention hall or Disneyland all day.
I recently visited with old friends and was shocked to see the addition of the popular Japanese Suntory Whisky line. I got nosey and was directed to Chris Yee, the bar director and sommelier who takes care of the bustling hotel bar. Chris recently spent eight years with the Urban Group (Cucina Enoteca), and brings a lot to the table when it comes to concocting house bitters and infusions.
“What’s cool about this bar is I really get to play around with some fun stuff,” says Chris. “When it’s slow, the bar focus shifts to being a creative place, but when there’s a convention, we go into a zone, sometimes making over six-hundred of just one drink in a day…it’s insane but fun,” he continued.
With over 70 whiskey’s on the wall, Chris is delighted to share history and tasting notes with a seasoned vet and play the role of a spirit guide to someone taking their first sip. If it’s too busy, nFuse has several flight options served properly in a carrying tray complete with full information on each.
The rest of the bar has something for everyone: great local craft beer on draft, wine, unique cocktails, spirit-free infusions, and incredible food, all at local bar prices. The bar itself spans a poolside area, U-shaped bar, and lounge area, all ripe for geeking out over drinks, working on a laptop, or simply swiping for fresh tinder meat, if your heart so desires.
If coming for a drink or two, this is one place where a cab or uber has the advantage over driving. The hotel doesn’t offer a quick park or cheap valet option for non-staying visitors. Being in the resort district, the area is crawling with rides faster than a valet.
nFuse Restaurant, bar & lounge: Anaheim Marriott 700 West Convention Way, Anaheim