If fly-by-night lounges with flimsy faux furnishings have left you feeling a little disposable, it may be time to plant your derriere at a sturdy oak bar with ambiance rooted in another era. The Blues Bar (formerly D'Lounge) at The National Hotel gives guests a taste of classic 1940s elegance without pretense. A spacious reception area with high ceilings and comfortable, unobtrusive furniture surrounds the bar. Amenable bartenders dressed in unassuming vests and starched shirts pour carefully crafted cocktails, whether throwback Manhattans or refreshing caipirinhas. The bar's diverse international and local patrons seem to agree that the fish tacos with blackened mahi mahi, mango, and pico de gallo are delectable. Also popular are $5 tapas, like the Wakame tuna slider and ceviche with avocado and jalapeno, offered between 4 and 7 p.m. daily.
Art deco gem the National Hotel was built in 1939 and, coincidentally, the clock above the bar is stopped at 7:39. For all you conspiracy theorists, 7:39 p.m. is 19:39 in 24-hour time. Legend says the clock stopped there so everyone could go back in time to the golden age of romance and glamour. We say the clock stopped there so it's always martini time. A gin martini arrives with tiny slivers of ice floating on the surface, like the wings of an angel. A shaker at your side provides you with... More »