December 12, 2007

Sapphire Hotel (5008 SE Hawthorne)

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Eat. Drink. Kiss. That's what the sandwich board in front of the Sapphire Hotel says. Which makes me say, all right then. Let's have at it.

It's not an actual hotel. It's the former lobby of a lively hotel that used to be rented by the ladies of the night and the sailors, who "rented rooms by the week, night or by the hour and spent long days and evenings in the lobby drinking, laughing, eating, talking and kissing." (

Now, it's a fine place to enjoy a late night meal and a whole bunch of atmosphere. It's dark and there's nice big comfortable chairs in front of a woodstove. I sit and order a mango lemonade. My friends join me. We order artichoke and kale dip and a cheese and fruit plate.

The artichoke dip is some of the best that I have ever tasted. Honestly, I like it better than my own. It is creamy and salty and has just a bite of spice in it and the kale is brilliantly green and tasty. The goat cheese is a creamy complement to the basalmic vinegar-spritzed bread and grapes. The gorgonzola is bright and strong. The brie, warm and relaxed with the apple slices.

The mango in my lemonade is fresh and the service is just as fresh. We run out of bread and my friend turns and catches the waitress's eye. "You need more bread, huh? I'll bring some right out." Just then, the Decemberists start playing overhead.

My name is Leslie Anne Levine
My mother birthed me down a dry revine
My mother birthed me far too soon
Born at nine and dead at noon
Fifteen years gone now
I still wander this parapet
And shake my rattle bone
Fifteen years gone now
I still cling to the petticoats
Of the girl who died with me
- from Leslie Anne Levine by the Decemberists
As I sat and sipped my lemonade in the Sapphire Hotel, I couldn't help but think of the maybe stories that existed behind the walls. The people that ate here, drank here, loved here. And because I'm such a fatalist, I thought of the people who were maybe born here, the people who maybe died here.

Eat. Drink. Kiss. What will you imagine?

Sapphire Hotel on Urbanspoon


P O S I E S said...

This menu sounds so yummy!!

todd said...

Great place; one of the best around.

Great song; one of the best Decemberists songs ever.

May I recommend the seared ahi tuna over rice? Good, cause I think I just did. :) Yum.