Where to Limoo Tea Bar, an Allston lounge serving bubble tea and food with Asian and Middle Eastern influences.
What for Boozy bubble tea! If you've ever thought these boba-containing beverages might taste that much better doctored with whiskey or gin, Limoo is for you. Served in carafes — or sometimes giant watermelons — Limoo's libations are designed to share with friends.
The scene On a Saturday night, the thump-thump-thump of house music fills the purple-lit, stark white, two-level space. On the first floor, the line to order backs up into a communal table attached to the ceiling with metal struts. "Suits" plays on a flat-screen. Upstairs, groups of 20-somethings occupy streamlined wood tables. A drinking game involving lots of clapping and yelping is underway. A table of students toasts madly, pouring from ice-filled carafes, clinking tiny sake cups, and gulping the contents. Everyone is on phones and tablets. A guy with a pompadour looks like an Asian Elvis, while a woman in a summery version of Pharrell's hat and an extremely short black dress resembles an Asian Stevie Nicks. A young man wears a shirt that says: "Bad decisions make great stories." A woman in glittery heels and a jumpsuit waits for the bathroom. Friends drain a watermelon filled with soju, then devour its flesh. A quartet of gingers in concert T-shirts arrives. In one corner, a young woman with a tall bouffant eyes the scene skeptically.
What you're eating The menu is made up mainly of salads, sandwiches in pitas or on bao-style buns, and shareable items like fries. A bao filled with chewy steak and slaw offers a bit of spice, while fries served with hummus are pleasingly McDonald's-esque and surprisingly truffle-scented.
Care for a drink? Spiked bubble tea is available in select house combinations — matcha, for instance, is matched with whiskey, served in a carafe alongside a separate dish of honey boba. The watermelon filled with soju appears to be a popular option.
Overheard Debate over flavors, celebration of debauchery, and some confusion about the Limoo concept. A woman wants to create her own booze-tea-boba combination. "We don't let people make choices," says the intense young man at the counter. Customers were creating things that tasted terrible, he explains, then blaming management. "Yay alcohol!" one woman exclaims, settling into her seat. "I need a straw. The boba won't come out of my cup," frets her companion. One table is up to no good: "If I can't trust you, I'm going to have to kick you out. I'm serious," an employee tells them sternly. A woman explains Tinder to a friend: "You swipe and match and then you have sex and everything goes wrong." "You can't have three devices going all at once," a young man scolds his tablemate. A new arrival looks around the room. "I feel like I'm not leaving here without vomit in my hair," she says.
1032 Commonwealth Ave., Allston. 617-396-8823. www.limooteabar.com.