America’s first cannabis café: Some indica with your fries?
You know the times are changing when your waitress announces, “Last call for cannabis,” said Mary Jane Gibson in RollingStone.com. But that’s just part of the nightly routine at Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, Calif., which on Oct. 1 opened its doors to become the first restaurant in America where marijuana can be smoked legally. An offshoot of Lowell Farms, one of California’s leading weed growers, the 240-seat establishment secured one of eight licenses that the city created to make responsible cannabis consumption part of the local nightlife scene. State regulations still present obstacles, but Lowell developed “a creative workaround”: Customers’ cannabis and food tabs are kept separate, and every cannabis product is prepared off-site.
The food, mostly farm-to-table fare created by chef Andrea Drummer, is “better than it has a right to be,” said Elina Shatkin in LAist.com. The space, too, is lovely, with a “gorgeous” patio and a large main room “decorated in that eminently Instagrammable modern-rustic style.” It’s so “aggressively normal,” in fact, that “the weirdest thing is just seeing people smoking anything in a restaurant.” Besides prerolled joints, the cannabis menu offers edibles, cannabis-infused sodas, and loose weed that you can smoke by renting a bong. So-called flower hosts, the equivalent of sommeliers, circulate among the diners to help with selections. You can’t take any leftovers with you, though, and “moderation is crucial.” Though no customer is supposed to linger more than 90 minutes, our photographer spotted one patron who had passed out and was carried to the door. ■