The Little Red Bistro is, simply put, Seattle's most adult restaurant. It's located in the stridently childless techno-borough of South Lake Union, and sits across the street from KING-5, whose building hearkens back to a day and age when most news anchors chain-smoked, wore mustaches and plaid suits, drank Scotch at their desks, and thought the etymological roots of San Diego to be "a whale's vagina." Its large, red outdoor clock is stuck on 4:20--and not by accident, as the LRB is set to host the city's first medical-marijuana farmers market this Sunday.
G-Love It's always 4:20 at the Little Red Bistro.
The LRB's cocktail menu consists of "seven deadly sins," each elaborate concoction priced at $12 and named after a Tom Waits song. Its interior is dark and sexy, punctuated by burgundy drapes, suggestive wall art, and and a mahogany bar. It has a performance area in back, called the Little Red Studio, which hosts live jazz, tango lessons, and erotic poetry, where attendees are likely to receive a "complimentary hand massage." And its entrees primarily comprise hot, pink beef.Mondays--$10 T-bone nights--are perfectly geared toward stingy SLUsters who long to digest flesh outside the confines of their ground-floor condos. Steak campagne ($15) is a rib-eye smothered in shallot butter and parsley. It's a little skimpy for what it should be, but seasoned to the point where any meaty mediocrity is shrewdly obscured by accompanying flavors, and the plate's red potatoes are perfectly baked. We were, however, a little perturbed by the amount of microwave beepers going off in the kitchen, which might have explained why the beef Bourguignon ($13, served with basmati rice) came off like a plate of Not-So-Lean Cuisine.
Those are minor quibbles when considering LRB's unique function and high-powered drinks, in which non-alcoholic mixers are as nonexistent as they rightfully should be. Booze, if it's mixed with anything, should be mixed with other forms of booze. You think Tom Waits has ever downed a Cape Cod? Maybe if it were offered for free at a summer potluck, but otherwise he'd surely opt for an On the Nickel, a deadly blend of bourbon, dry vermouth, St-Germain, and absinthe. No wonder he so epitomizes the term "haggard."