Mother of Pearl

Walking through the door is like a teleportation device. The ride downtown had been peaceful, the air calm on a cold Tuesday night.

“I am for passengers, not for moving,” the Uber driver said, after we had loaded his vehicle with boxes of water, remaining crudo ingredients, and the garbage we were not allowed to leave on the curb outside of the event. Suddenly a squabble was about to erupt. Lizzie kept her cool, hailed two cabs, and like lightning we shifted the detritus of catering to the yellow vessels (who had no qualm transporting people and goods the 10 blocks).

A mere hour later, we are in another world, one Lizzie likens to Puerto Rico, though I have never been. I pull up a stool and settle, she says, “I know what cocktail I want and it’s the one you are going to want also.”IMG_2544

“Let me guess,” I say. “The Tide is High – mezcal.”

“No, 62 degrees – sherry.”

Of course both sound delicious and they become our first round. The barmen are masters of garnish, the beverages are of the vibrant tiki variety in tall glasses on crushed ice. The mint is flamed on the 62 degrees (walnut bitters, manzanilla sherry, lime, banana, baking spice, rum). It accents refreshing aromatics (plus everyone loves things set on fire at the bar). The Tide is High (cashew, pineapple, lime, mezcal, repsado tequilla) has a beautiful pink hibiscus flower and three cashews on top the crushed ice. We notice the phenomenon of tiki drinks as the ability for the garnishes to stay in tact upon the ice even as the beverage is consumed.

IMG_2545The space is light-filled and airy. We marvel at all the intricate decor from the lamp shades to the tile bartop. Small plants adorn the backbar, which is white and clean, as is the floor. The bar itself feels a little high for the stools, at least for me. I hike myself up a bit and rest my arms on the edge. The bartender and barback are in hawaiian shirts, prodding my quest for a good hawaiian shirt (a search not yet filled).

The couple to our right engage in conversation with the bartender. Visiting from the West Coast, their ambition is to visit 40 spots in 3 days. They bond, as I overhear the bartender is also from out West.

The conversation to the left is about the service industry. One of them reaches out to pay by holding out his card, noting he committed his own service industry pet peeve of grabbing at the check. They laugh at themselves.

A couple of things get knocked over, repeating the clumsiness with which a woman earlier spilled her drink on the bar. Even so, the night is calm. Nothing disturbs the vibrant colors and clean white of this place. For the span of a beverage on crushed ice, we escape to somewhere tropical; teleportation achieved.

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