The Bar Tab 

7959 Broadway
11am-10pm Mon-Wed; 11am-11pm Thu-Sat; 11am-10pm Sun
Margarita: $8
Michelada: $5

On Sunday, as the sun was setting, a friend convinced me to meet for a drink at Soluna on Broadway and Sunset. Soluna is in a fancy shopping center called the Collection that’s full of red-brick buildings that always seemed too “Dallas” to me. But my friend wooed me with too-good-to-be-true stories about an amazing patio with a fountain, and people-watching Mexican dignitaries while enjoying the sunset. I had been neither seeking nor avoiding dignitaries from the Mexican consulate, but I figured that if Soluna somehow reminds them of home, then perhaps it won’t remind me of Alamo Heights.

“It’s not in Alamo Heights. It’s in Oak Park,” my friend reminded me.

I began to see Soluna’s attraction as we were seated next to the fountain on the serene patio, and an attentive waiter quickly came and took our order. I got the sense that we were on the threshold of the dinner rush but they were polite enough to let us take such a choice table.

I ordered a margarita ($8) and my friend tried a michelada with Michelob Ultra ($5) — which seemed like a crazy choice but apparently is popular with people who need a low-carb beer. I just hoped the dignitaries from the Mexican consulate weren’t eavesdropping and offended by such a heterodox combo.

The drinks came quickly. My margarita was clean and strong, but not obnoxiously overpowering.  It was a bit sweet, but nothing uncommon. My friend loved his Michelob Ultra michelada but I wasn’t going anywhere near that thing.

Almost everything in life is more interesting during the golden hour. The heat dissipates, grackles flock together and fly in intriguing patterns and directions. This was a good way to wind down the week. I looked around for the elusive dignitaries, or even an Octavio Paz doppelganger, but no luck. A regular named Bryan clued me in to Soluna’s clientele: “After having several previous incarnations, Soluna seems to have found its niche in ’09 attracting a full range of cafe-society types, bilingual hotties, and old-school ladies who lunch with strong cocktails.” For Alamo Heights — I mean Oak Park — that sounds pretty good.

— Mark Jones



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