What a serendipitous find this place was! A respite from the scene that dominates the Lower East Side, Lotus Lounge is more like a true coffee house than a lounge, but still more like a bar than a coffee house. Why, Palate King, you’ve gone insane–whatever are you talking about? It’s hard to explain, but this joint reminds us of some of those cool high school coffee houses we used to frequent in Los Angeles in high school–but with adults, and bartenders, and booze! Dreadlocked and bi-spectacled locals play backgammon, video solitaire and sit around talking about art (or whatever those smart, artsy folks talk about). The atmosphere and slightly Asian-oddball decor in the small space is perfectly conducive to hanging out and people watching. You can even flip through one of the many thrift store paperbacks that line the bookcases. The place is chill as chill can be, with a big dash of local cool. It’s the perfect afternoon spot to grab a comfy seat with a couple friends, get a few beers at the bar and chat to your heart’s content. [MF]
35 Clinton St.