On weekends, east Valley hookah lounges are usually swamped with college kids fromArizona State University
. Hookah lounges on the west side are crowded with coeds, too, but in this case, they're usually students from
Casablanca Hookah Lounge in Glendale is no exception. This past Saturday, clusters of college kids filled the place, lounging on Casablanca's comfy brown leather couches and blowing clouds of white smoke into the air.
They added ambiance to one of the coolest hookah lounges we've ever visited. We've gotta say, there's definitely a good-time vibe on the west side.Casablanca Hookah Lounge
is located in a strip mall near 54th and Peoria avenues. It sits across the street from another hookah joint,the Nile
. The windows of both the Nile and Casablanca are heavily tinted, with only the neon glow of interior lights visible from outside. Both places have DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.
What makes Casablanca stand out are its warm atmosphere; talented DJs; and creative shisha blends at great prices.
The lounge is large and dimly lit. The main sources of light are a massive plasma TV showing a digital collage of purple liquid splashes, giant green circles, and pulsating red spirals; and the colored spotlights over the DJ platform. A wall with Moroccan-style arches separates two large rooms, each filled with several leather couches so soft they suck you in when you sit down. Several smaller TVs adorn the walls -- on this night, they're tuned to a soccer game.
Casablanca's tobacco menu is filled with custom shisha cocktails with names like "Arizona Sunset" -- sadly unusual at most hookah lounges. We rented the regular hookah for $13.99, and tried something called "Captain America," a blend of Blueberry Mist, Strawberry, and White Peach tobacco.
Our hookah was thinner than most we've seen, but delivered smooth hits from a clay bowl. Captain America smelled of sweet molasses, but had a subtle, pleasant fruit taste. Rather than blending all together, the flavors came in stages: initially white peach, then strong blueberry, and finally, strawberry.
The DJ played incredibly catchy dance club mash-ups -- manually. He used several different tracks, devices, and sound effects to seamlessly craft medleys that blended everything from Queen and The Sounds to hip-hop and brass band music. His hands never stopped moving during the jams.
By 11 p.m., Casablanca was packed. Two petite brunettes playfully wrestled around on the couch. A lanky kid with curly brown hair and glasses got up and danced on a table.
It was definitely a good time. Now, we must go have a coughing fit.
Casablanca Hookah Lounge is located at 5140 W. Peoria Avenue, Suite 150, in Glendale. Hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturdays, and noon to 2 a.m. Sundays. Call 623-486-3998 for more information.
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