Where Everybody Knows Your Name – The Majestic Lounge

An ultra-welcoming place tucked away in the Del Ray neighborhood, The Majestic is the best spot to meet some locals and beat them in checkers.

Ambiance: ****

Decor: ***1/2

Service: ****

Cocktails: ***1/2

Overall Rating: 3.75

Walking down Mount Vernon reminds me of American Gladiators — just a suburban agoge populated by legions of dogs and strollers pushing their way north and south with a few reckless joggers mixed in.  Beautiful and bright neighborhood, but as an introvert, it can all get a little overwhelming!

If you require a refuge from all the canines and happy young parents, you could do a lot worse than the Majestic Lounge, a dark and stylish bar tucked away behind the Evening Star Cafe restaurant.  It’s got a neighborhood vibe that doesn’t scare away a newcomer like myself.  And, again, it’s dark, which I’m a fan of.  First drink was a Harold Johnson with plymouth gin, green chartreuse, and cocchi sweet vermouth.  I enjoyed this drink’s opening act as the gin starts off sweet, but the finish came off sort of “mediciny,” possibly the chartreuse.  Not bad though.  The next drink, the Arcadian with Hendrick’s gin, honey syrup, and arcadia rosemary, was markedly better — after all, how can you go wrong with gin and honey? It was a nice subtle take on the gin, and the rosemary mixes very well.

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As you can tell from the pictures, I moved the party to the lounge from the restaurant, so the environment got a bit more romantic 🙂 Started off in the lounge with a smoked old fashioned, with house smoked maker’s mark and maple syrup.  The extremely efficient bartender told me this was a best seller but I have to be honest, I did not enjoy this one – the whiskey just didn’t click with the syrup in my mouth, resulting in just sort of a strange, sugary whiskey burn.  I got through it but I wouldn’t recommend it, personally.  But hey, apparently tons of other folks like it, so don’t take my word for it!  OK, moving on, I went much lighter with the attractive Aperol Spritzer, a clever and vivacious mix of sparkling chardonnay, aperol, and hopped grapefruit bitters.  I’m not a fan of grapefruit flavor of any kind but this was nice and easy, with the bitterness and harsh tastes gelling perfectly in this relaxing sipper.  Liked it.

Ended with a hipster and a herb.  The hipster was the Oaxacan hipster, with pabst blue ribbon, mezcal, lime, and chipotle.  I’ve been getting more and more into beer-based cocktails and this one did nothing to dissuade me — probably my favorite drink of the day as the lime synchs with the mezcal while the PBR gives it some heft.  And hipster cool, of course!  The finish was The Good Herb, with cruzan rum, lavender syrup, lemon, and burlesque bitters.  This wasn’t a standout but it was nice, cool, and I got an almost lemonade vibe throughout.  The burn was enjoyable and consistent.  Recommended!

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