Larry's Licka Love ... Almost Too Beautiful to Drink

Tempest Lounge is pretty much a newcomer to the Tacoma dining and nightlife scene. It plopped itself down in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood in 2005 and seems to be making a go of it. The neighborhood is not one that is known for successful business ventures or destination dining establishments, but Tempest is bucking the trend and making people around Tacoma consider a trip to the Hilltop. When they do, they’re in for a treat.

While Tempest does serve food, this place is certainly a lounge first and foremost. The word “lounge” is quite appropriate for Tempest … not “bar.” It is lush, sexy, comfortable, and even a bit edgy. There’s a little bit of tiki-lounge chic mixed with Hollywood pin-up girl glam, alongside red velvet curtains by the red felt pool table. Drinks are gorgeous … and delicious. In the mood for something different? Tempest’s mixologists won’t leave you disappointed … whether it is something on the official menu or something whipped up for you based on what you say you like.

This place does serve food … and “pub grub” it is not. Organic greens, cookies hot out of the oven (when did you ever get that in a “bar”?), creative yet tasty and filing sandwiches, and daily blue plate specials are sure to keep your appetite satisfied … and sure to have you coming back to try something else on the menu again. The food is consistently good. Even when the lounge is hopping on a Friday or Saturday night, you can pretty much plan on getting a meal served up that is as good as it would be on a slower weeknight.

Tempest isn’t “fine dining” per se, but it isn’t meant to be. It isn’t overly playful, pretentious, or anything that makes you feel anything other than relaxed. If you’re ready for a good meal, a true cocktail, and a place you can easily hang out in while wearing your jeans and tee, visit Tempest.

Another option is Bite, the restaurant in the Hotel Murano Tacoma.  It is open late.