Openings and Closings

Off the Hookah Up and Running

The West Palm sibling of Fort Lauderdale's Off the Hookah, the nightclubby restaurant where water pipes aren't the only things smoking, is now up and running on -- where else? -- Clematis Street. 

The newest Hookah (314 Clematis St., 561-837-8577) is 14,000 square feet of faux exotica, complete with "ancient" Egyptianesque "artifacts" (including a gleaming golden replica of King Tut's sarcophagus), massive chandeliers, a two-tone wood mosaic floor, lots of gold leaf and Venetian plaster, plus a spacious outdoor patio facing the street and hookah bar where you can puff on one of 25 flavors (like blueberry and mint) of a special herbal blend. 

Entertainment is off the hook, with everything from "flair" bartenders to belly dancers to live music. Oh, and there's food too, a buffet at lunch and full-service dinner, when you can dine seated on "Egyptian-style beds and couches" or on the floor swallowed by huge pillows.

The menu is more like off the wall, with a full range of sushi (!) to complement a roster of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes -- kebabs, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, fatoosh salad -- steaks and pastas too.

Bring your own bong.

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Bill Citara