At Cloud 9 Hookah Lounge, patrons recline in a low-lit room full of comfy cushions and couches as they puff sweet-smelling tobacco from bubbling water pipes. They can relax as they exhale tendrils and clouds in flavors such as coconut, mango, mint, and jasmine, or they can experience a rush of citrus by inhaling lemon or orange tobacco or by smoking from a hollowed-out pineapple. Guests can enjoy the lounge during the week, or come on weekends for dancing and a live DJ.
Friendly, attentive staff help patrons by making flavor recommendations or blending ingredients into mind-blowing cocktails such as the orange-peach-vanilla Dreamsicle, or cinnamon-peach-vanilla Peach Cobbler. Visitors who pay an extra fee can rent out the secluded VIP room, a private paradise full of wall-to-wall black and white sofas.
A zapping haven with historical awareness, the Shenaniganz laser tag arena pits up to 24 players against one another in the gloomy haze and vibrant lighting of a 12th-century Cambodian temple. Players can repurpose ancient temple ruins as opaque bunkers and unload some light on unsuspecting opponents. Safe and well maintained, the laser tag arena warms up trigger fingers for joysticked, button-mashing mayhem in the 7,000-square-foot arcade. Stocked with more than 100 games, the arcade zone is a sanctuary for prize-seeking ticket hoarders and friendly competitors alike. With $35 worth of credits, players might be able to swap jackpots for prizes ranging from candy to a life-sized portrait of Macaulay Culkin. While children go wild in the arcade, parents can relax at the on-site sports bar, with more than 40 flat-screen TVs and two 25-foot hi-definition movie screens. Shenaniganz also has a restaurant and state-of-the-art bowling center. No reservations are required for laser tag, though players can always phone ahead to ensure there's no private party or toddler rave occupying the arena.
A go-to East Dallas hangout known for its great beer selection and laid-back atmosphere (think dim lighting, red vinyl booths, pool tables and a jukebox), Bryan Street Tavern is also recognized as having some of the best bar food in town. That’s particularly true of the thin and crispy-crusted pizza, offered with unusual toppings like buffalo chicken, blue cheese and celery or corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island sauce. Beer-basted chicken wings are offered in a kaleidoscope of different flavors, ranging from mild to burn-your-face-off; other options include a Philly cheese steak topped with traditional Cheese Whiz, or a candied jalapeño-battered corn dog, all of which pair perfectly with one of the many local craft beers on tap. The dog-friendly patio’s picnic tables are packed when the weather permits.
All-important opening acts include the tableside-prepared guacamole ($12 if not dining on Tuesday or Wednesday), which is freshly sliced, diced, mashed, and smelted before the salivating eyes of feasters, or the classic Nachos Amador con Langosta, topped with lobster, black-bean puree, avocado, jack cheese, roasted-tomato salsa, and jalapeño jelly ($12). Brace your buttons for a mariachi-inspired bursting with one of Trece's main entrees. Options range from the vegetarian-friendly chile relleno vegetariano stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, and pecans ($18) to the hearty 12-ounce New York strip ranchero ($32), a mesquite-grilled cut topped with dark forest mushroom, morita-chile salsa, and chorizo.
Founded in 2010, the Wish Opera mounts productions that speak to contemporary audiences and sport the fashions of Canadian designers, sparing performers the indignity of having to don musty cravats and moth-eaten horse costumes. Rose Marie, an operetta set in the Canadian Rockies, tells the story of a French Canadian girl, an English Canadian miner, and the Mounties and misunderstandings that interfere with the course of true love. The 1,330-seat theatre’s ear-tickling acoustics enable Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart’s music and Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics to keep the plot moving forward and ensure that “When I’m Calling You” stays in the audience’s brainpan for one calendar year.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus cranks up the knobs and disrupts power grids on its 2011 tour, treating fans to a electrifying night of fist-pumping anthems tinged with emo and bellowed with sincerity. From humble grassroots beginnings in Florida, where the band first charmed the fins off of whales with its Top 40 hit "Face Down," through its latest collection of jaunty angst, Am I The Enemy, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has perfected its recipe of alternative rock and screamo, resulting in a affably schizophrenic pop that hits the heart, bends the earlobes, and thumbs its nose at noise ordinances. Fans eager for omniscience can attempt to sway the show via the band's set-list contest, which allows RJA devotees to vote for a song they'd like to hear in hopes of snagging two VIP tickets and a subscription to Grooveshark. Opening the concert, Memphis quartet Egypt Central sears through a fiery set of chugging metal, and Burn Halo stirs simmering angels in a slow cooker of rock.