A favorite with locals and repeat visitors, the Whiskey Creek (24 Lake Mary Rd., 760/934-2555, daily 5:30 p.m.–2 a.m., $15–30) combines casually elegant California fare in the downstairs dining room with a homey nighttime bar up above. Only half a block from the Village, you can walk in and enjoy an unusual array of entrées, a surprisingly wide selection of wines, and tasty beers.
Whisky Creek maintains its own tiny on-site brewery, so some of the beers they serve really are as local as it gets. The crowd, both for dining and for drinking, feels warm and friendly, as do the hearty dishes served to hungry après-skiers. Be sure to make reservations on weekends as it can get crowded here. If you’ve just come for a drink and a good time, expect live music to heat up the upstairs starting at about 9 p.m., and to keep on playing long past midnight.