The interior of Fox and Firkin is as genuine as the interior of a pub in Mayfair, London's swank district. A red phone box outside the front door sets the tone for the large room festooned with dart boards, maps, military paraphernalia and flags emblazoned with dragons, the symbol of St. George, England's patron saint. The carpets are suitably garish, decorative glass has its place and there is lots of wood and brass.
But let's get our priorities straight. The real attraction, as in any pub, is the beer and ales. On tap are Guinness, Watneys, Harp, Fosters, McEwans, Courage and Blackthorn, the potent apple cider, as well as two of the pub's own brewing: Firkin Gold, a delicious light lager, and Dog Bolter, a pale, heavy lager. I'm a pint man myself, but the Fox and Firkin pours very generous half pints, indeed. Prices, however, are not cheap; pints run about $3.50.
If you're not into beers, there is also a full bar. And for those not exclusively on a liquid diet, the Fox and Firkin provides standard pub grub. Not to be missed are the ploughman's lunch (a buffet selection of sliced meat, hard-boiled eggs, onions and crusty bread), the venerable bangers (mild sausages) served with either baked beans or mash (mashed potatoes), and shepherd's pie (a casserole of ground beef and mashed potatoes).
Other amenities include English Comedy Night--Saturday and Sunday presentation of such English television standards as "Hancock's Half Hour"--and a forthcoming (and much awaited) happy hour.
In short, the Fox and Firkin (a firkin is a beer barrel, by the way) is full of good cheer and as cozy as a grandmother's den. Plus, it's an ideal place to celebrate a rugby win.
The Fox and Firkin, 3601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach. Open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday through Saturday till 1 a.m. (714) 263-8670.