Since we’ve been a bit short of reviews of the more liquid kind here at The Lost Ogle and Patrick has agreed to add me to the roster, I thought I’d start out by shooting for the moon. Lunar Lounge, that is!
Part of the growing trend of difficult-to-find-and-enter hidden bars hitting the country, Lunar Lounge is located inside the Midtown Plaza Court – a.k.a. the McNellies building – at 10th and Hudson.
If you don’t do your research, finding the place is about as challenging as landing on the moon. The easiest path is to enter the building at the unmarked glass door leading to a wood panel-lined interior hallway and hunt for a little lunar surprise. I’m giving you these hints not to ruin the Lunar experience, but so you don’t look like a space cadet and walk past the front door three or four times as I did!
The Lunar Lounge is worth the initial brain power needed to gain entrance because once inside, you’re treated to an experience that’s a bit outside of this world, at least by OKC metro standards.
The ambiance is futuristic retro – an old-school cool that provides the perfect amount of backlit half-moon mirrors and just enough light to read menus and see the smile on your drinking buddy’s face. There’s enough music to vibe, but not to overpower conversations with those around you which I appreciated.
Taking a spot near the bar, I started my personal Apollo mission with, but what else, Uranus.
A Blanco tequila-based cocktail balanced by falernum liqueur, house pineapple star anise syrup, lime juice, and an absinthe spirit, Uranus has an odd orbit and boldly goes where no other cocktails have gone before.
Citrusy and easy, as their menu says, it is an exotic drink that takes your tastebuds to a dimly-lit purple-glowing Caribbean beach without being the basic pina colada or daiquiri that leaves you with a sugar hangover. Not overly citrusy, no tequila burn, not too spiced – it’s truly balanced and an easy drinker.
Lunar Lounge offers a nice mix of $8 classic cocktails, so we lined up two tried and true drinks for good measure: an Old Fashioned and a Sidecar for round two. Tastefully made and beautifully presented, you can NOT go wrong with either classic.
Feeling adventurous and also looking to round out the experience with a dessert of sorts, the bartender suggested their House Espresso Martini.
This isn’t your basic, Instagrammable espresso martini. No. It’s a superior version shaken with house-made coconut cream. With less espresso bite and significantly more tropical sweetness, I could’ve knocked back half a dozen of these creamy beauties and not regretted the day-after crash.
Following the high of ingesting arguably my new favorite drink, we finished things off with a Star 69. Made with house-buttered popcorn-infused rum and a Coca-Cola reduction, this call-back cocktail triggered childhood memories of Monday matinees, only with significantly more alcohol.
Deepened with plum bitters and Montenegro amaro, it provided a unique taste that I’ve never come across nor expected. Each sip provided a different profile, some packing the sweet syrupy taste of Coca-Cola while others had a fruity, buttery goodness.
Overall, the Lunar Lounge – if you can find it – is a worthwhile experience with arguably some of the most creative and well-executed mixology I’ve found in the Metro. There is something for every palate and preference, even if that preference is Bud Ice which I haven’t seen since college.
The bartenders are attentive, friendly, and skilled in their craft. Service was quick, constant, and personable even as the night went on and the clientele grew. With an ever-changing menu (they previously had a Ricky Bobby and Bu-Cee’s themed cocktails) and a killer creative concept, this place is one small step for man, but one giant leap for the OKC bar scene.