We tried to go on a recent Thursday night but were denied because the basement is open only on Fridays and Saturdays. We ended up in Bar Rhumba, the upstairs bar, with some business guys and coed groups of the "I'm too cool for you" set. Carl Peterson was also there; he made our people-watching night when he walked in with a blond chickie, both of them clad in matchy-matchy black leather blazers. It was a scary blaze of leather glory, especially given that she had unfortunately accessorized her ensemble with a silly black leather bucket hat (as well as black knee-high leather boots with a nonsexy low heel). How urban Abercrombie & Fitch!
"Hmm ... maybe this basement room is really an S&M dungeon!" speculated our good friend Cat. We wish! That would have made for a more interesting night, though the thought of a codpiece-wearing Carl in leather trusses was vastly disturbing.
We went again on a Friday night, and as we wove through the masses lounging upstairs, we heard a distinct techno beat, which guided us to the maw of hell: There was a line inside the restaurant to get downstairs. It was guarded by a bouncer, whom we thought would decide the fate of the liner-uppers through his control of the velvet rope. Instead, he turned out to be very amiable; he was there mainly to enforce the fire code.
Downstairs was a sausage factory. The diverse group included a Jack Osbourne look-alike in a lattice-patterned patchwork club top that he'd bought in Chicago. There was also a sensitive ponytail guy in a beige leather blazer and another presumably sensitive guy wearing a Cosby sweater. (How could he not be sensitive? He likes pudding!) Then we noticed a scrubbed Midwestern guy in his tan, close-fitting ribbed sweater. "Are you the Bachelor?" we asked him. Alas, he was not.
With so much testosterone in the air, and because the enclosed room was hot, we needed something cold. So we ordered the Mambo Taxi, a frozen margarita swirled with sangria and served with a wedge of lime. It was somewhat tart, but the sweetness of the wine mellowed the harsh tequila, making for a refreshing drink. We preferred the Taxi's ride over that of the Mambo Limousine, which was the same thing with a shot of Chambord. The raspberry liqueur was overpowering, like Robitussin. So we went back to the Taxi, being strongly in favor of Slurpee drinks that feature alcohol.
Still, we were in a basement. After hearing too many people saying "Woooo!" and then watching them dance on top of chairs, and seeing too many Baby Phat-clad butts waggling about, it started to feel like a bad high-school party, albeit a better-decorated one with good, strong drinks.