written by: Glen Warchol photos by: Adam Finkle
The Chakra Lounge is owned by the same people as Himalayan Kitchen, a Nepalese restaurant, but don’t try to order chhaang, the saki-like drink of the Himalayas. Chakra Lounge is to Nepal what Trader Vic’s is to Polynesia—an imperfect marketing construct. Chakra’s voluminous-but-sparse interior has an unpretentious, mid-century bar feel and the drink menu features tropical concoctions like the Far Out Fizz, Tropical Derby, Coconut Rum, Corrrrrriander Pisco and a Lychee Collins.
After we worked through a Far Out Fizz (gin, garbanzo-bean water, simple syrup, pine syrup, lemon juice, soda water and a splash of green Chartreuse) and an Air Mail (rum, lime juice, honey and mint, topped off with sparkling wine), it came as no surprise when the bartender explained that the menu was meant to introduce cutting-edge cocktails to Salt Lakers, not offer a window into Nepalese culture. “Craft cocktails are really big everywhere, but they aren’t being done here,” the barkeep informed us.
What the exotic cocktail list lacks in satisfaction is made up for in the food, which comes from Himalayan Kitchen. It’s probably the most satisfying bar food in town. All in all, Chakra would make a great place for a bachelor(ette) party: A menu of bizarre drinks to force on the betrothed and great Nepalese food to soak it up. 364 S. State, SLC, 801-328-2077, chakralounge.net
See more inside our 2017 November/December Issue.