Walking Through the Looking Glass: Marie Hits the Wonderland of the Desert Rose Hookah Bar!
Marie Bargas takes us down the rabbit’s hole to check out what life is like through that looking glass.. aka let’s all do like the catepillars do– indulge in a hookah bar!
“The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.”
ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll
This first image of a hookah from childhood still tickles me every time I see the caterpillar in Disneyland’s main street parade. Thanks to Disney, the hookah or water pipe has emerged as a symbol of exotic, languid relaxation in the American mind starting in childhood. Today, the hookah lounge has arrived in time to usher in a new preference for fantasy experience entertainment for grown-ups who want frolic in the luxurious atmosphere of ” 101 Arabian Nights”
Nestled in a quiet corner of North Hollywood on the outskirts of the NOHO Arts District, The Desert Rose Hookah Lounge is the new “mecca” for hip Hollywood non-conformists with a taste for fantasy. Sumptuous soft couches and diaphanous white curtains reminiscent of scenes from Lawrence of Arabia surround divans adorned with sparkling pillows that glitter by candlelight.
On weekends, the delicious Devillah belly dances to standing ovations by night and teaches a popular belly dance workout Saturday mornings. To her credit, most people feel comfortable enough to join her gorgeous gyrations on the dance floor to an eclectic offering of sultry Middle Eastern tunes and some live drumming.
The ambience suggests another place, another time, another era, where almost forbidden pleasures are enjoyed without guilt. Patrons come to enjoy an easy camaraderie while passing the hookah pipe. Shisha (flavored tobacco) selections include apple, berry, raspberry, chocolate and a variety of other yummy flavors. Since each person gets a disposable mouthpiece, colds and flu don’t get passed on.
Experienced smokers find the hookah a relaxing change from the harsh fumes of cigarettes or cigars, but for non-smokers and hookah initiates the smooth taste of fruit, chocolate and honey is a pleasant after effect. And everyone gets the benefit of the delicious fruit, chocolate and honey blends without all the calories. Best of all, there are occasional nights patrons pay only for their drinks (sodas, water, beer & wine) and the shisha for their hookahs — a paltry sum for such opulence.
The Desert Rose hosts occasional entertainment events in their own backyard– a virtual Garden of Allah– where patrons can sit and relax in the shade in the afternoons. At night, the garden transforms into a mystical oasis lit by torchlight where Los Angeles’ renowned Phoenix Projekt returns monthly to dazzle their audience with fiery acrobatic feats. Patrons can enjoy the show, a hookah and a drink under the stars like sultans in a royal Bedouin encampment. Ah, what lush decadence.
Desert Rose Hookah Lounge
5042 Vineland Ave North Hollywood
Thanks to Marie Bargas for this very unique inside peek into a place no one but the “insiders” would have known about– and now you too are an insider!!
You will find articles by Marie intemittently on this blog– so keep your eyes peeled!!
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