Beirut nightlife is all about being in the right place at the right time. The right time means the place needs to be totally packed with no room to stand and people bouncing off the walls. In DC, the closest comparison would be with Eye Bar. Lila Braun has no sign but everyone knows where it is, more like a swank 18th st lounge.
The night before my brother's engagement party, after he had met her extended family and friends from out of town, and after he had answered all their questions and had said his goodbyes for the night, we turned around and walked into Lila.
We got there at the perfect time. We had just been at place across the alley at a bar/resto called Pacifico and were the last ones to leave. Lila was absolutely packed. It took a lot of shuffling to get to the bar, but very soon after all our 'long island champagnes' (i think a slice of lemon is the only nonalchoholic part of this drink. oh, and the ice) were halfway downed, the place started to empty.
The dj was playing slow french music but we were still dancing. We were almost the only people there other than the staff, but then as we were starting to think it was time to go, Mike, the bartender, says five words: "do-you-want-some-shots?" And that is where our night really started.
Here on the right, meet our two favorite bartenders: Jad and Mike. Last time I was here Jad made the most incredible mojitos ever. Please note the lovely arrangement of mint on display. This is a shot of the second flaming shot my brother had to down: a flaming lamborghini. eck. The first one was spectacular. I think its name was 'you're screwed' and the flames were more of a fireworks extravaganza. My brother had tears in his eyes when he was done. So touching.
After 2/3 rounds of shots for everyone, and all the spectular flaming shots for my brother, the last 20 minutes were spent pleading with the bartenders to convince the bouncer to let us back in again.