Downbeat Diner and Lounge is a late night diner/lounge with a full bar. It’s in the heart of
hipsterville Downtown. This place gets a lot of foot traffic after the bars/clubs, art houses, and the business district closes. It’s also the hub of where all the hipsters goes to get their grub on. The whole menu is vegan friendly, which is why all the hipsters are there. It’s a great place to have a few drinks, listen to some hip hop indie remix, and EAT!
The interior is clean and minimal. The vinyl booth seats has a great pattern with musician superstars like Hawai’i local boy, Bruddah Iz (Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole). The walls are bare except for one wall with a projection screen playing hipster like things. On the day I was there, they were playing one of those cheesy skateboarding videos. You know the ones that you watch the skateboarder do these awesome tricks at a public location, but all you are thinking is…I hope you eat it. Of course, they never do. It’s not THAT video.
Everything about this place is super casual. Our waitress (who I secretly wanted to be) had an awesome half buzz cut/half bob with hipster eyeglasses and bold red lip. I regret not getting a photo of her, but I didn’t want her to get creeped out and kick me out.
I had to try out one of Downbeat’s specialty cocktails. I felt like being hip, so I got myself the Spiked Ginger Brew #7. The drink is made up of ginger, citrus, and spices. I spiked mines with vodka with the recommendation from my waitress. If you like ginger, you’ll love this drink. It didn’t taste like ginger ale, but tasted more like real fresh ginger. There is a slight fizziness, but not much. There was no strong alcohol taste, which is dangerously awesome.
My friends are vegetarian, which was the main reason why they choose this place. I couldn’t even take a picture before my friends started digging into our appetizers. The vegetarian friendly sampler plater came with 3 pieces each of fake chicken buffalo wings, cheese sticks, and jalapeno poppers.
The texture of the wing was chewy, like all the other fake vegan stuff out there in the market. It tasted like chicken, which is the easiest taste to recreate. Or maybe sometimes we don’t know how to describe the taste, so we instantly say chicken. Well, this stuff tasted like spicy chicken. The rest of the platter tasted great.
The greek salad is filled with fresh greens, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers with a red wine vinaigrette. It’s the typical traditional greek salad. It was yummy, salty, and feta-tastic.
On Yelp, mostly everyone raves about their Loco Moco (a specialty cuisine from Hawai’i). They have a couple variation of the Loco Moco. We tried the Chili version. It’s vegan patty, vegan chili, downbeat gravy, two eggs over easy on top of brown rice. The chili was hearty and spicy. I don’t remember if we asked for potatoes or if it comes standard. The eggs were cooked perfectly and when eaten together, it was a mouthful of heat, robust tomatoes, and (fake) meaty goodness.
The Pile is the best drunk food to have. The only thing that is missing is my drunkenness. The Pile is home fries (more like country potatoes) topped with cheese and 2 over easy eggs. Breaking the yokes is key. It’s all good and I don’t have to describe how good potatoes, cheese, and eggs can taste together.
Downbeat Diner and Lounge is a great place to go with a bunch of friends and have an easy casual meal. The prices are descent and the portions are generous. Service was great and the place looked clean. I must admit, it’s a small place, so the booths fills up pretty fast. That’s were the bar comes in. Relax and have a drink, most likely a booth will be opening up soon.
Downbeat Diner and Lounge
Tuesdays – Thursdays: 11AM-3AM
Fridays and Saturdays: 11AM-4AM
Parking: not on site. Like all Downtowns all over the world, parking is a premium. Try to find street parking, if you can. If not, I would recommend parking at the public parking garages.
Family friendly…well, that’s in the eye of the beholder. I feel that it is, but then again, I’m not a parent.