Rising up from the ashes of En Fuego and a remodeled Ford's Filling Station, Greg and Tara Hughes' latest venture is Kampai Lounge. Combing the themes of other successful real estate along Brookside -- Suede Ultralounge and In the Raw -- Kampai is the ultimate lounge experience in Tulsa.
This spin-off of two Tulsa successes is a place to gather in a lounging fashion, and while this manner of coming together in public might be a bit extreme for some, for others it is completely relaxing.
Low lighting and a calming sense greet guests upon entering. Very noticeable is the back wall, which has three large photos of female eyes starring out, as if an omniscient someone is watching over all that transpires. There is definitely an Asian feel with small, totemic figurines around; small votive candles are scattered about brighten up some of the dark browns, blacks and cream colors, which abound.
This evening at Kampai, I brought along a friend; we sat at the bar to observe. We were not quite ready just yet to assume the lounging position on any of the many low-to-the-floor furniture.
The atmosphere is considered a bit edgy for some, yet ideal for a group of friends to gather, lay back on any of the many upholstered beds, chaise lounge chairs and sectionals. Depends on your inclination and mood.
This Wednesday night the crowd was small and quiet although the bartender said the weekends are packed with guests. A DJ plays Thursday through Saturday.
We were ready to order our drinks. Beverages at Kampai include a fine selection of wines and champagnes and a variety of sake drinks, beers and specialty martinis.
We ordered a couple drinks--a Margarita and a Manhattan, and we simply took in our experience. This evening, a few people were on the sectionals, but most were gathered in the bar area, seemingly having just come from work.
Kampai Lounge Plates' menu has some nice selections: Small Plates, Sushi and Sweets. Small plates include many of the more popular items at In the Raw: Edamame ($5.50), Spring Rolls ($5.50), Calamari $5.50) and Crispy Duck Breast Pops ($6.50).
We selected the Brookside Sliders ($8), which come highly recommended by our bartender who said this is the top selling menu item. These Sliders are three mini grilled Angus burgers on homemade buns served three ways, which seemed to have crashed this menu of Asian specialties.
Applewood smoked-bacon and sharp cheddar, Stilton cheese with sweet onions and relish and burgundy Portabello mushrooms with Swiss cheese are the three "ways." They are definitely mini and very good.
The Stilton cheese burger was very enjoyable because the pungency of the cheese mixed well with the sweet flavor of the onion.
Our other dish for the evening was Tuna Tar Tar ($8). Fresh Hawaiian Yellowfin tuna is served on crispy wontons and garnished with caviar.
The texture of this dish first meets the palate. A variety of crisp and soft come together in a pleasant sort of way building community in the mouth. The tuna rests on a triangular-shaped wonton and is the right size to pop in the mouth.
The taste is the payoff. Worth every bite.
Some other plates include Wok Seared Scallops, Grilled Shrimp Satays, Kampachi Sashimi, and Peppercorn Salmon Sashimi. Some sushi choices include Id Roll, Restless Ribbon Roll, Candy Roll, Keaton Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll.
Rooms and sections of Kampai are available for rental (for a fee) for parties. The Zen Den, The Wine Room, The Fish Bowl and the West Patio are all available for small parties and large parties, and a DJ may be hired to play at private parties upon request.
It is a lounging experience like no other.
3301 S. Peoria Ave.
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