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Flight's plans are subject to change

June 19, 2008|Steve Baltin

MOST club owners like to think of their spots as being original. The management behind Orange County's new wannabe hot spot Flight Bistro is no different. "It's unique in Huntington because of the look and ambience," assistant manager Cristina Barbatti says.

The concept behind the new venue, though, is straight out of the contemporary night life handbook. Like Costa Mesa's Sutra and an increasing number of venues in Los Angeles, Flight Bistro is trying to be both a fine dining establishment and party central after hours.

While Barbatti acknowledges, "It's a tough balance to do dinner and lounge," the venue -- which opened in October in a location that used to be Scorpion Steakhouse and Taps Brewery, among others -- has already found its niche as a restaurant. As a nightclub, though, Flight Bistro is still finding its identity.

A recent Saturday night featured a fashion show for O.C.'s beautiful people in the back room, but a throng filled the bar stools and hovered under the glow of the big-screen TV and its two smaller siblings above the bar, with more chatting on the elongated smoking patio outside. DJ Eric Cubeechee was spinning a user-friendly serving of recognizable Top 40 tunes, but would-be dancers seemed more intent on snapping photos of a woman in red, shimmying on a motorcycle at the center of the room.

Not that such scenes are necessarily de rigueur. Flight Bistro's club nights still vary -- Thursday through Saturday on some weekends, just Saturday on others. ("We encourage people to call and ask," Barbatti says.) Certainly it's advisable not to leave a night at the infant club to serendipity. Flight Bistro offers valet parking, but no street parking anywhere in sight; it's not surprising that a recent Chowhound entry called it about the worst location in Huntington Beach.

The venue is marketing itself as eco-friendly, using low-lead paint, green lightbulbs, recycled material for furniture and green decor, as well as a selection of organic food.

The club's events menu bears watching too. The Saturday before the fashion show, Flight hosted an art show, the next week a charity event. In addition, the venue has welcomed jazz, live acoustic and comedy nights. If Flight Bistro continues to celebrate that eclecticism, it could be worthy of that unique moniker.

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theguide@latimes.com

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FLIGHT BISTRO

WHERE: 8082 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach

WHEN: Nights vary; call for info

PRICE: $10; free before 10:30

INFO: (714) 374-8300

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