Food & Drink

Hookah gets classy on Main St

Men have always used the basement to pursue solitary fancies: from painstakingly detailed train sets, to painstakingly grunt-alicious weightlifting, to painstakingly imprisoned children. For a more inviting downstairs project, check out Koullshi, under Tangerino. Tangerino's Moroccan filmmaker/owner/chef dropped $1.6 million to refashion its lowest, garden-level space into a sprawling, aggressively opulent hookah lounge, with belly dancer-ready podiums, gilded fixtures, tapestries, semi-private canopied retreats, and a state-of-the-art "Air Make-Up" system that'll keep you smelling fresh, and your girlfriend from demanding "Were you at an aggressively opulent hookah lounge?" To court Western-style lung cancer, Koullshi also has a walk-in humidor (w/ rentable lockers) and a VIP cigar lounge decked out with "Sultan's Tents": couch-thrones obscured by crimson drapings and lattices festooned w/ Christmas bulbs, drawing maximum attention to the fact that you're hard to see. Topping things off are an outdoor enclosed stone Moroccan garden, and an intimate couch-filled champagne lounge w/ a mahogany bar and an extensive bubbly list from France and elsewhere, as this has been a bad year for Moroccan champagne grapes. Grub from upstairs is available, and for those who prefer gorging in relative seclusion, there's a private dining area dubbed the "Marrakech Salon", featuring uber-ornate hookahs and scarlet suede daybeds -- where you can pursue that most elusive solitary pleasure, falling asleep while eating.