The Green Room cocktail lounge at Castaway debuts an Alice In Wonderland-themed popup experience, “Through the Looking Glass,” on Thursdays through Sundays from April 13 to May 13.
Visitors to The Green Room are ushered through an unassuming door in the wall behind a green velvet rope and welcomed with a “Shrinking Elixir,” a light gin fizz, and then escorted to their table in the upscale lounge that is separate from the rest of Castaway restaurant.
Comfortable chairs and couches with low tables are located in the main bar area and outside on the private attached patio with scenic views of the San Fernando Valley and Burbank. We were seated under the colorful Cheshire Cat Tree, looking out over the Burbank Verdugos.
From start to finish, we enjoyed the entire experience, the food and ambiance. There are some surprising elements to the decor and the drink and food timing was perfect. Our server, Julia, was attentive and knowledgeable.
The live DJ kept the fun party vibe going with a great selection of music that was not too loud and easy to carry a conversation over. The sound system in The Green Room is top-notch and well-balanced.
For $60 per person, The Green Room’s “Through the Looking Glass” experience includes a cocktail, shared Charcuterie board, a choice of either the Neuske Bacon Bao or The Terrarium for a main, and the Down The Rabbit-Hole dessert.
Wine, additional cocktails and other regular menu items can all be purchased as well.
We really enjoyed the Buzz Off cocktail, made with Don Julio Blanco, Yuzu Lemon, Organic Ginger, Szechuan Flower, Cointreau, Grand Marnier and Grand Marnier Whip. The Szechuan Flower is chewed first, providing a fizzy sensation in the mouth. With a drink of the foam, the Grand Marnier Whip, the bubbly sensation abates. The drink is absolutely delicious.
Our excellently-presented and balanced Charcuterie board featured salami, prosciutto, truffle pecorino cheese, a creme brulee goat cheese, toast points, fantastic whole grain mustard, honey, green apple, dried apricots, walnuts and cornishons.
We opted for a glass of red wine, the Oberon from Napa Valley, to accompany the charcuterie board.
We tried both the Neuske Bacon Bao and The Terrarium.
Our favorite dish of the night, the Neuske Bacon Bao featured tender and crispy pieces of chicharron, scallions, cucumber and hot Fresno pepper, with a delicious sauce folded into a pillowy black bao.
With an excellent combination of colors and textures, at first the bao tasted mildly spicy. But as one continues to take additional bites, the spice level builds to a comfortable but noticeable pitch. We really enjoyed that. The bao is a little messy but well worth it.
After the filling bao, we were thrilled with the colorful and crisp vegetables of The Terrarium, which was accompanied by a delicious and mild house-made hummus, mixed with “wild mushroom soil,” and fried pita triangles.
We also sampled the Steak Tartare Cigars, steak tartare wrapped in a lightly fried shell and tipped with caviar. Served with a rich Hollandaise dipping sauce, the cigars tasted delicious but we could only manage a few bites as we still had the dessert to try.
The Down The Rabbit-Hole dessert (Ube Crepe Cake, White Chocolate Ube Mousse, Pistachio Gelato and Candied Pistachio) is served on a tray decorated with brightly colored fabric flowers, the White Rabbit’s pocket watch and a cute mini Mad Hatter’s hat. The cake and house-made gelato were decadent and perfectly complemented each other and the meal.
Presentation is a huge component of many of The Green Room’s drinks and plates. The “Through the Looking Glass” popup takes that fun and creative element and ramps it up even more. We were charmed by the atmosphere and the decor and thoroughly enjoyed the food and drinks.
Reservations aren’t required but they are recommended, as several weekend nights all already fully booked.
The “Through the Looking Glass” dining experience at The Green Room is perfect for a fun date night or social outing with adult friends. We enjoyed the whimsical atmosphere, the comfortable seating and the quality of the food and drink.
The Green Room is located at Castaway, 1250 E. Harvard Road in Burbank.