The bar belle

Mie N Yu

3125 M St. N.W.

In my many drunken excursions to M Street during college, I often passed by the yellow and orange facade of Mie N Yu while stumbling back and forth between Third Edition and Garrett’s. I had yet to enter through its diaphanous, curtained doorway until last Friday night.

Maybe it was because the name was just too cleverly misspelled, or perhaps I was jealous that I couldn’t afford dinner in the restaurant’s famous “Birdcage” table. But I just never considered the high-end Asian restaurant as a source of viable nightlife. The most likely reason is because honestly, I didn’t know the bar existed until last weekend, when I saw a line of posh 20-somethings stemming from the restaurant’s side door.

I trekked through Georgetown until a 6’5” bald bouncer beckoned my group of girls. Despite the flattering solicitation, we still had to wait in line and have our IDs grilled before crossing the threshold of East-meets-wasted. Weaving our way through the eclectic crowd, we first encountered the painfully fashionable Euro group, then sideswiped a threesome of professionals my father’s age before finding a place at the bar next to some preppy grad students. Eyeing an open corner to conduct our Silk Road drinking experience, I left the group to stake our claim. The plush cushions and silk pillows provided a VIP-like seating area perfect for lounging and people watching as I waited for the rest of my group to meet me with the drinks.

Sitting alone, I averted the stares of an approaching weirdo by becoming engaged with the lounge food menu. As I expected, the food was pricey and by no means traditional, with high priced creative fusion items such as Banana Pesto Hummus. Luckily, my friends appeared shortly with drinks in hand.

The $8 glasses of wine and $12 specialty mixed drinks were fabulous, although they were pricier than the usual fare. I decided they were worth it, though, because the more drinks you consume, the faster you have to go pee. (The co-ed bathroom is one of the highlights).

As we sipped the last of our drinks we received news that the guys meeting us had been rejected at the door for wearing tennis shoes. So, with few prospects other than the lingering weirdo and a crispy-gelled-hair guy, we said goodbye to our lavish nook and headed to a bar with a more familiar scene. A Washington Post reporter wrote, “Stepping into Mie N Yu … is like walking into an Oriental fairy tale.” I’m not sure what kind of perverse nightlife tales the “Orientals” told their children, but I do agree there is enchantment in the d?cor and atmosphere; a refreshing change from the dreariness of the neighboring bars. But you may have difficulty finding a Prince Charming at the bar- especially one who can afford the festivities of the night.

Bar Belle Rating: 3/5

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