Sometimes you just gotta go weird. If weird means planning a dinner for three at a restaurant that seats a grand total of eight at the two available dining tables. You know, that discussion that goes somerhing like, “Hey, how about this funky-sounding Trinidad and Tobago rum bar that makes no sense in this universe? It’s shockingly exclusive!” I mean, this is what hipsters do, right? Who needs a Mexican or hibachi when you can hunker down with some Caribbean flavors in a place that is way more party on the inside than you’d expect looking at the cover.
So, apparently Las’ Lap refers to the last hour before the end of Carnival. Makes sense, right? It’s the last lap before you start puking rum out your nose and then collapse for a week. I’m happy to say there was very little puke when we went here, but there was definitely some rum. Their cocktails are definitely different and somewhat adventurous. Mine was like a twisted dark ‘n’ stormy or something and others had fruit juices and spice and various other tropical goodies that mirrored the two-tiered, Caribbean-inspired space. The whole thing felt very little like the drab, Lower East Side location in which it resides. Honestly, the vibe was quite awesome.
And the crowd was decidedly not white-guy hipster. It was a terrific mix of islanders and people of color and even a few folks in florals that helped the high-class party atmosphere. We were definitely the outliers. Both because we were sitting down to an actual dinner and because we were first-timers at Las’ Lap. There seemed to be some regulars and regulars’ friends mostly sitting at the long bar that takes up about three quarters of the narrow space. And everyone seemed to be having a good-ass time.
Our server was amazing. That always helps things. She was friendly and helpful and, frankly, adorable. Note to all establishments: hire good people. People who are good with people. And know your menu. And, even if they’re being underhandedly disingenuous, pretend to care that your customers have a good time and may want to actually come back. Check, check and check.
Honestly, after ordering a Presidente, I could have just had drinks and been totally fine, but we did order some grub. After all, this was supposed to be a dinner thing. We did the sharing thing, which isn’t usually my jam, being the only child that I am, but that was the suggestion. And a good suggestion it was. We had some delicious arepas, including one short rib and one truffle one. I couldn’t pick an arepa out of a lineup prior to this, but now that I know they’re essentially a South American gordita, I’m totally down. We also had some delicious jerk chicken spring rolls, glazed chicken wings and, oddly, a burger that we cut up and shared. It was a great mix of sweet, spicy and savory. And matched really well with the beer and atmosphere. What else could you possibly ask for?