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Saturday, June 18, 2021

Since I opted to wear my retro-cool Speed Racer t-shirt, it was inevitable that I’d find myself at Orchid Lounge last night.

I guess I had an Asian vibe going all day; I was craving some Japanese food for lunch yesterday, too. (If I had found a restaurant near my brother’s place on Avenues A or B, I’d have indulged, instead of hitting Famous Ray’s as I wound up doing.)

Anyway, Orchid was fun. Almost everything was right about it: The ’80s pop megamix the DJ was spinning (which wasn’t obnoxiously loud — a rarity in most clubs), the subtitled movies playing on the monitors (Kung Fu Hustle, followed by a late ’90s edition of the Godzilla series), the red plush decor, the cheesy gong behind the bar, the giant jug of Chinese liquor with a big ol’ snake floating inside… It’s all about atmosphere, baby, and this joint had it in spades.

The drinks were really good, too. I was lucky to be around for two gong-hits, signifying free shots of some super-fruity liqueurs. I also had a couple of Ginger Candys, which is lemonade and ginger-infused vodka — like most sweet concoctions, it’ll knock you on your ass before you realize what’s happening. Once she found out I was visiting from Florida, the cute little Asian bartendress treated me to a Green Dragon, which is a gin martini with a liberal dose of Thai basil leaves swirled in. Despite my love of gin martinis, I’m not sure I would have been daring enough to buy one of these myself; but I’m glad she gave me one, because it was great! I particularly enjoyed chewing on the leaves after each gulp.

The only thing that wasn’t great: No women action. There were a couple of groups of ladies, but they all stuck to their private booths, away from the bar. It started getting more packed into the night, but by then, I was pretty wasted, and decided to head back home.

I’ll have to keep Orchid Lounge in mind on my next visit into the city. My itinerary makes another visit during this trip very unlikely.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/18/2005 03:17pm
Category: New Yorkin'
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