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The Caterpillar

Huka Bar & Grill

Location: Salt Lake City (Murray)

Shisha: Starbuzz

Coals: Naturals, cut in half (Manager at the time unsure of brand)

Hookah: Crystal Mya (surprisingly)

Bowl: Small Egyptian/Windcover

Pros:
Free valet and dress code are an attempt at dressing a typical bar scene in a ritzy uptown veneer.
Facebook reservations waive cover charges.
Seating available in booths or tables.
Full food menu and bar.
Price break for secondary bowls.

Cons:
Extremely pricey for drinks, bowls and food.
Often crowded after 10pm and difficult to get a table for medium-large parties.
Scantily-clad waitresses are poorly educated in shisha preparation yielding harsh, short bowls (a freebie is given, if say, you ask the waitress 4 times to take a coal off since you have no means to fix it yourself). To be fair, I've had a few who have managed heat well.
It is well-ventilated in most areas and makes clouds/rings impossible thus neutering the visual/therapeutic effects of smoking.

Score: 7/10 purely for being the only of its kind here.

Overall, fun nights can be had here if money is no object and you want a bar alternative that will impress a newcomer to hookah. Out-of-state-or-country friends will be impressed with the scene as it is unusual in this state. I rarely go anymore and keep this as my policy for attending
--> "you buyin'?"

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QUOTE (cotsi95 @ Nov 30 2009, 01:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the owner in these vids. He really knows Nothing about hookah, it sad to see someone preach about being an "Expert" and yet get so many facts wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdLIwv4cKKk


Definitely doesn't know much i.e. nicotine content, thousands not hundreds of years of hookah tradition, etc.

He must transfer his marvelous wisdom to the waitresses.
But that doesn't really change the review of the bar/lounge experience which is what this section is for, after all.

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agreed. Just that me and indian villager were talking about him a few weeks ago.

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QUOTE (cotsi95 @ Nov 30 2009, 02:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
agreed. Just that me and indian villager were talking about him a few weeks ago.


Let's have the Mods clean this up and keep it a true Review section smile.gif

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This is the best hookah bar in Salt Lake City. But that's like saying "The Sign" is the best Ace of Base song.

When ihcake and I rolled up to this place, we were thrown off a bit because of the fact that the building looks more like an office building than anything else. No worries. There was a sign and a little black Mini Cooper with their logo all over it parked out front. Upon walking in, we were immediately greeted with a nice looking sign but a not-so-nice looking hostess wearing tiny black shorts and a black corsett (which we would find out is their "uniform").

Let me just say something here. I am a man, and as such, generally find women in suggestive clothing quite appealing. But here's the thing... wearing lingerie in public should be a privelage, not a right. And there's a fine line between sexy and trashy that mosst of "The Huka's" servers were well over. Ok, 'nuff said about the skanky waitresses.

After the visual assult we recieved with our greeting, we were then charged $7 cover. That sucks. When I asked about it later, I was told it keeps out some of the riff-raff which I understand, but it still sucked. Once we were all paid up, I started taking in my surroundings. The place looked like a jungle with vines and flowers strung up all over the place. The furniture was decent and there were TV's hung up playing various bad sports. They had an open kitchen and a patio. There was a VIP room decorated with several "Sultan" hookahs (which I was assured were NOT smokeable, but merely very expensive lamps) and a full, wrap-around bar.

One thing that struck me as unusual was that all the hookahs (~18" golden stemmed Mya's with $300 crystal bases) were pre-setup on the tables sans bowls. The hoses were old, beat-up cloisenne hoses that did not taste like rust, surprisingly.

Their menu was fairly expansive. They had food - we ordered a taco pizza that wasn't bad. They had drinks - the special of the night was $5 Long Islands, which I had two of and couldn't taste the alcohol either time :(. And they had hookahs - I was told they served SB and Layalina but all I saw was the SB. Their prices were set at $10 and $12 (not bad after paying $7 cover), but I couldn't tell what made certain flavors cost $2 more. Oh well.

So we ordered some mix with a sexual name only to have it brought out in a ceramic bowl with a screen and built-on windcover. I had our server (who was very nice, btw) pop open the cover to find they were using Exoticas. Surprisingly, the smoke wasn't bad. I mean, it wasn't good, but it wasn't bad. What really got me was, later when our server was fixing our bowl, she took the screen off to stir the tobacco, and I saw they only had about 10g of shisha in there. Talk about a ripoff. On top of that, ihcake ended up getting sick from the coals so we had to leave.

Ultimately, the place was more bad than good. No one knew anything about hookah's or shisha and I almost got kicked out for video taping inside the place. I'm sure that bowl wouldn't have lasted much longer than the thirty minutes we stayed. Like I said, ripoff. Yet the place does well. When we were there ALL the tables were reserved. I was told it gets absolutely packed on Thu-Fri. The impression I got was that the place was just a trendy place to go, listen to top 40 music, watch some football, stare at off-duty, second-rate strippers, oh, and smoke a little hookah.

Not my scene.

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