Karma Lounge joins Bull & Buddha, Crave and and Artist's Palate as downtown culinary destinations really worth trying. (One more is on the way - A May opening is planned for a new bistro style eatery on the 300 block.) I am not sure if Karma Lounge is best described as a restaurant with a really nice bar, or a bar and lounge with a really great small plate menu. I think the latter fits better. I think the new word is "Gastropub".
Mark Murray, the CIA chef that also worked with Sally and Michael at the now shuttered Twist is responsible for Karma's kitchen. His selection of “small plates” is more substantial than a classic tapas menu. No one dish will suffice as a main course, but the choices and the prices ($6 - $10) allow for building a “mix and match” meal without going broke. The few that we sampled were fabulous. His novel preparations take creative liberties with classic dishes; some like the Caesar salad, border on heresy. The Caesar ($6) is tossed with Spanish Manchego cheese and tossed with a lemon cumin dressing, topped with tortilla strips. Romaine salad? Yes. Caesar? No. But still sounds great.