We'd never engage in a naughty affair, but if you do there's definitely an out-of-the-way bar for that. And now that we think about it, in the Tinder Age there are bound to be dates that don't need to happen in the light of day. A dark, indiscreet bar is what you're looking for; so dark, you'll think you forgot to take off your shades. This means avoiding your usual, standby spots. Forget the motto on Cheers. You need to go where nobody knows your name.
Midtown or North County peeps can drive south to Chula Vista for The Manhattan (400 Broadway). It's a corner dive, with karaoke during the week, and you can tell your date you want to take them there for the local charm.
Driving north, check out The Butcher Shop Steakhouse (5255 Kearny Villa Road) in Kearny Mesa. It's dark, romantic, with an old-school vibe, serving up classic cocktails in a swanky lounge. Further north in Del Mar, Bully's Del Mar (1404 Camino Del Mar) has that same flair, with stiff drinks and dark interiors, but with images of horse racing on the walls. Heading to Del Mar might seem like work, but what better guise to use than, "Hey baby, let's take a drive by the beach...far, far, away."
On the east side of the county you can choose from a bevy of bars where no one will find you, for the mere fact that no one you know hangs in El Cajon. Rendezvous spots include Downtown Café Bar & Grill (182 E Main St.) where live music plays regularly and the illusion of romance is in the air, and URBN El Cajon (110 N Magnolia Ave.), if you're looking to not get spotted, but also dying for a good brew.