If you lined up all the bars and clubs on Ocean Beach's Newport Avenue end to end, you'd be wasting your energy and everybody else's time. They're already lined up end to end, as you know—two solid blocks of everything from the diviest dives to the boutiquiest eateries, all within quaffing distance of one another. If you ever go to Greenwich Village (and you'd better), it's a cinch you can pass up the famed Bleecker Street as a destination. With Newport Avenue at your doorstep, you're not missing a trick.
But don't think for a second that Newport is the sole repository of O.B.'s many charms. Voltaire Street holds its own against Newport any day, and O'Bistro holds its own against Voltaire. That's because the head peeps wisely carry Columbia Crest as their house wine of choice—and while the name may not tug at your heartstrings, y'gotta remember that this brand is from Washington state, long heralded as a top wine-producing region amid its temperate coastal climate. A highly scientific survey conducted by two of the world's top viticulture experts (my date and me) recently revealed that Columbia Crest's Shiraz is the most adaptable red wine in the history of the universe. It's really quite phenomenal, this one—the bigger the swig, the more all that great cherry and oak flavor plays and stays on the palate, almost as if the wine gauges your craving all by itself. Now, that's mouthfeel!
O'Bistro, at 4934 Voltaire St., plays lotsa swing CDs, serves up a lobster bisque to kill for and sports a dog-friendly patio the size of Jacksonville, Fla. (topographically the largest city in the contiguous United States). You can wash down all this sensory overload with a Columbia Crest Shiraz ($5 a glass) seven days between 9 a.m. and whenever things slow down (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.). The number is 619-223-2022. As O.B. goes, Voltaire may be the road less traveled, but that Shiraz is Newport enough for me.