BY MARIE LODI
When I first heard that Lowell Farms was opening up the very first “cannabis cafe” in the United States, I was excited and intrigued, to say the least. At first, I, and other people I know, thought a cannabis cafe would consist of eating food infused with cannabis, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, it’s a gorgeous West Hollywood restaurant that allows you to smoke, vape, and imbibe cannabis in varying ways, while quelling any impending munchies with a menu curated by Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Andrea Drummer. In other words, it’s a cannabis wonderland.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, my friend and decided to head to the Lowell Cafe to celebrate her upcoming nuptials with a “infused bachelorette” dinner of sorts. When we arrived, we were instructed to check out the bar as we waited for our table. We walked into a room decorated with enough greenery to impress any “plant mom,” vintage neon signs, including a giant one in the shape of the famed Lowell bull, and, of course, a nice whiff of cannabis. At the bar, we perused the cafe’s flower menu, which had an impressive variety of options ready to smoke. I obviously expected flower, but was surprised to also see rosin, edibles, and THC and CBD-infused beverages, including Kikoko teas. We ended up getting a couple of pre-rolls, including Lowell’s Banana OG and a Maven Genetics indica.
When we were sat at our table, we were greeted by two different hosts, one strictly for flower, and another waiter for food. Because we already ordered some pre-rolls at the bar, we ended up not ordering any additional cannabis at our table. But there’s also Tableside Flower Service available, complete with a “flower host” who will help explain the various strains and their effects, bringing whatever you need to enjoy your high. You can rent bongs, pipes, even a hookah. As I lit up and looked around at all the other people enjoying themselves, smoking cannabis—at a restaurant in L.A. (!)—I couldn’t help but feel a little awestruck. It was truly an amazing moment to experience, especially amid the current ongoing fight for federal legalization.
The food menu featured sandwiches, like a “smash burger” as well as vegan and non-vegan versions of bahn mi, plus an assortment of salads. Other choices include appetizers and snacks like tamarind chicken wings, “animal style” corn dogs, and crispy brussels sprouts and turnips. The food we ordered was the perfect antidote to munchies: jalapeño macaroni and cheese bites; tasty vegan nachos made with “cauliflower meat’; an incredible crispy jidori chicken sandwich, and a baked alaska for dessert. It was hard not to order everything on the menu, but there’s always next time.
All in all, my experience at the country’s first cannabis cafe was something I’ll never forget. Good cannabis, good food, and the perfect ambience. I’m already planning my next visit.