Review: The Shady Lady Saloon

Located on one of my favorite corners in midtown (sounds worse than I intended, I know), The Shady Lady is a favorite place to end the night.  Relaxed atmosphere, large comfortable horseshoe booths, lots of room at the bar, a little stage off to the right as you enter for live music (or grandstanding, if you feel the urge), and my favorite place to hang out: front and center, the luxe red couch with armchairs and coffee table…makes me feel like I’m at home, but on stage, with the warm spotlights on me, the first thing people see when they walk in the doors.  (No, I am not a diva, but I play one at night.)

My girlfriends and I were there late on Saturday night, St. Paddy’s weekend (because, really, he deserves more than a day).  As I walked in the door, the warm lights, the red glow from my favorite above-mentioned seating, the buzz from the crowds, the music from the trio (appropriately, they were singing happy birthday, you know, for me)…all washed over me and surrounded me in this cocoon of welcome.  Instant relaxation.

As though they knew the couch was mine and they were trespassing, the occupants immediately got up and made room for us…somebody bought me a drink, and all was right with the world.  I checked in on yelp, and whaddya know, Johnna was there too!  So I ran over to talk to her and she introduced me to her sweet bartender friend, Brandon who quickly made me another drink: a Seraphim.  Appropriately divine.

We spent a couple hours there, meeting and talking to various people, made some new friends (you know who you are!), watched the bouncers dispose off a few overly demonstrative and inappropriately affectionate clientele (thanks!), and left feeling relaxed and satisfied with the knowledge that we had done everything we could to eke every bit of pleasure out of a beautiful night.

The Shady Lady Saloon
1409 R St
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 231-9121


Review: Naked Lounge

After seeing so many reviewers talk about the amazing “Bowl of Soul” at the Naked Lounge, I added the place to my bookmarks.  So when my friend tossed out Naked Lounge as an option to finish up the evening, I jumped at the chance.  Bright and cheery place, on the corner of 15th and Q.  The large windows along the street sides frame a vision of a cozy, warm, eclectic, and welcoming family room in someone’s home…and guess what, you get to go in!  Lots of seating…worn (read: comfortable) couches, small tables and chairs, benches along the windows, but it doesn’t seem crowded.  And people are open to being asked to scoot in, or borrow a chair, without giving you a put-upon glare.  The art on the walls are seemingly randomly selected, but they all work together.  The place has a mix of people hanging out: couples, friends, loners on their laptops.  

Lots of drink options on the board, but my eyes make a beeline for the top drink and I don’t move down the list.  I am having the Bowl of Soul.  But then I look at the ingredients, and I gag slightly.  Chamomile tea?  Heresy.  I can’t drink Chamomile tea!  Then to make it worse, soy milk.  Gag me some more.  The honey and dusting of ibarra chocolate redeem the whole thing.  Slightly.  Can I do this, I ask myself?  If I don’t do it now, I won’t ever come back.  And in the grand scheme of things, what’s choking down one chamomile tea/soy milk concoction going to really do to me.  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

So I gather up my courage, cross the rubicon, and order the damn drink.

We find a table and while our time away, looking through my friend’s instagram pics.  And then it arrives.  A really tall cup with a skewered tea bag resting on the top of a thick head of (soy!) foam, with a stylish chocolate heart dusted over it all.

I nonchalantly let it sit there…cooling…don’t want to burn my tongue, I’m sure it’s really hot.  Finally, I can’t stall any longer.  I take a tentative sip.  And then another more assured one…and yeah, okay, it’s not bad.  

It’s not bad at all.  In fact, it’s flipping AWESOME!  I love it.  Really.  

I drank chamomile tea with soy milk and I liked it.  A LOT.

Naked Lounge
1500 Q St
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 442-0174