I mean, just look at the post title – I love love love the new Pleasant Storage Room, a rum bar downtown on 4th St. Why? The reasons are threefold.
1. Tropical themed bar, but themed in a classy, not tacky way (although I also love tacky tropical bars. Equal opportunity tropical bar lover over here).
2. RUM! Rum is one of my favorite spirits, possibly my favorite spirit, but doesn’t get the respect and love it deserves on most cocktail menus.
3. It’s about a one minute walk from my work. Meaning I can have high-quality happy hour daiquiris whenever I need to kick back after a long day.
I’ve been a couple times now, but it wasn’t until last weekend that I went in for the whole dog-and-pony show: cocktails, shared plates, dinner, yet more cocktails. Everything was top notch, especially the ceviche and alllllll the drinks. That first cocktail is their delightfully strong mojito (with my favorite kind of ice – soft and crushed) and below is the El Presidente, which our lovely server recommended to me when I said I wanted to step outside the box. Plantation 3 star rum, tropical vermouth, dry curacao, and blush. Pleasant Storage Room offers a menu of what they call “island street food” – fresh, tropical-tinged flavors incorporating plenty of fruit and spice. At the top there are empanadas (we got the beef, if I were to order them again I’d check out the fish version) and below is their glorious Napali Death Tuna ceviche: passionfruit, salted cashew, candied habanero syrup, thai basil, and lemonhart 151. This came literally ON FIRE so obviously we were all impressed regardless of the dish itself… but dang, even without the fire, this was probably the best ceviche I’ve ever had. It’s like the flavors were handpicked just for me – passionfruit, salted cashew, thai basil?! Get outta here! It’s served with fried plantain chips, another favorite of mine.
Ugh. Heaven. We ordered the “vegetal” thinking it was going to be a platter of spicy vegetables and black beans, but it turned out to be a sandwich. Oh well, still good! Rob also got the classic gran cubano sandwich (ham, swiss, pickles, all that good stuff) and I would say it was a bit better than the vegetarian version – although the coconut guac that came with the vegetal was bomb.
Below is the tropical slaw, another “was this crafted just for Emily?” moment: jicama, peppers, chayote, sweet potato, and avocado with ginger dressing. I always like to add avocado to my homemade slaw, I’m glad Pleasant Storage confirmed my stance on that issue.
One thing not pictured: Dayna and I shared some of their grilled, head-on shrimp but we scarfed them before I could get a good photo. They were very garlicky and… strong, not sure what other word to use to describe them. I liked the shrimp, but would definitely select another ceviche for my #1 seafood order next time. And instead of dessert, I opted for another cocktail, the Make and Mend: Pusser’s royal navy rum, suze, kronan Swedish punsch, lime, house guava jam (yum!), and five spice bitters. Our server said it was a “love or hate” kind of cocktail, I loved it. It was fruity, bitter, a bit spicy and boozy and a little thick thanks to that jam.
Between the boozy, creative rum drinks and the spicy island bites, (oh and that whimsical, breezy Cuban decor) I just want to move into Pleasant Storage Room and pretend I’m living with Ernest Hemingway or something.