Say this much for Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails: It’s sexy and it knows it. It’s the peacock of cocktail lounges. The rectangle tabletop with flames shooting up looks gorgeous and so does the girl in the one-strap orange dress under the strings of light.
Of course, the drinks are off and the bar food uneven, but nevermind that.
Frolik is the swanky new playground on the fifth floor of the downtown Red Lion Hotel. It has indoor seating, though the big draw is the spacious outdoor patio with peekaboo water views between office towers.
Frolik certainly didn’t get its inspiration from Seattle. It looks more like a rooftop hotel bar in San Diego or Los Angeles, and it works under the (counterfactual) premise that Seattle is sunny all the time.
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None of the rough-hewed Northwesterly motifs here. It’s more modernist décor: brightly colored furniture, shiny zinc-like table tops, a fake lawn and speakers camouflaged as rocks. There are comfy couches by the fireplace outside and a shuffleboard court and orange Ping-Pong tables that look too pretty to play on.
For Seattleites who complain that no one gets dolled up for a night on the town, Frolik is your Saturday-night destination.
It draws a heavy crowd from the Eastside and the clubbing set.
The bar hired a mixology consultant to build its cocktail program, but did some of the bar staff doze off on training day? I ordered a Dark and Stormy and instead of ginger beer got something that resembled Sprite. A ginger mojito was nothing like its name would suggest.
The bar food is cheap and copious, and the happy hour seems to go on forever (4-10 p.m. daily). The chicken sliders and smoked salmon deviled eggs were salty but tasty. But there were also dry duck confit on a flatbread and wilted, undercooked fries that were inedible.
But no one seemed to mind. Frolik is more of the place to be seen. (You will know as soon as you step off the elevator whether it’s your scene.)
As the waitress led us to our table outside, my drinking buddy said, “I feel like the teacher chaperone at the prom, surrounded by all these young kids all dressed up and just saying inane things.”
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails, 1415 Fifth Ave. (fifth floor of downtown Red Lion Hotel), offers happy hour daily from 4-10 p.m. with $5 cocktails, bar snacks from $2-$7 and wine and beer for $4.50-$5 (206-971-8000; also on Facebook).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle