Sadly summer is officially over if we are to believe the calendar, but that hasn’t stopped the heat in San Diego. Which is why some of Southern California’s residents, special guests from all over the country and friends of Thrillist were flown into the city this past weekend. Because what better way to bid farewell to our favorite season than with an enormous two-day bash at the Hard Rock downtown?
Coined Hotel Thrillist, the celebration kicked off with a fun event on Friday with local celebrity chef host Brian Malarkey. Taste of Thrillist, as it was fittingly called, featured small bites and samplings from a few of SD’s best restaurants, including Puesto (filet mignon tacos), Salt & Cleaver (Moroccan lamb), Donut Bar (Big Poppa Tart donut), of course Searsucker (Hamachi tartar with shallot, crème fraiche) and quite a few more. The evening was topped off with a performance by Good Graeff and thanks to the San Diego Brewer’s Guild, nobody went thirsty. The cherry on top of the whole thing was that some of the proceeds went to the United States Bartender’s Guild (USBG) National Charity Foundation, an organization that looks to put a stop to childhood hunger.
Not to be outdone by any other party scene in SD, Hotel Thrillist started right back up again on Saturday with a huge pool party at Float, sponsored by Malibu Rum. As guests entered the wild scene, they were lei'd and given party favors before imbibing on Black Pearl Malibu cocktails created by none other than San Diego’s Bartender of the Year 2013, Eric Johnson. The drinking scene was completed with a coconut station where attendees were given a mallet to crack them open…and then immediately fill them with alcohol for a delicious piña colada. Of course where there are drinks there should also be fare, and Thrillist went all out with a full roasted pig and taco bar and nitrogen ice cream featuring—you guessed it—Malibu Rum. Overall the energy was extremely high and it wasn’t uncommon to hear guests complimenting the vibe and the music, especially when Havana Brown performed poolside.
To close out the festivities Hotel Thrillist wrapped up with one last party at Hard Rock’s 207 nightclub Saturday night, appropriately called the After Dark Finale party, which featured a live performance by DJ Skee and “roaming trumpeter” Rico DeLargo. All-in-all if you weren’t there, you missed a pretty epic weekend at the Hard Rock thanks to Thrillist’s huge bash, but don’t take our word for it, check out the pictures from the parties and spend a moment wishing you had been invited. Hey, you can always hope for next time.