Le Baiser Salé
58, rue des Lombards
Tél : 01 42 33 37 71
I love a good dive bar. I don’t know if le Baiser Salé would really be considered one, but the night I went there it had a few of the key elements that make a place divey for me: mediocre to crappy drinks, a strange mixture of clients (including the obligatory unsavory ones) and dark a ambiance punctuated with red lights.
Le Baiser Salé is located in a little pocket of Paris close to the Pompidou that is busting with bars, cafes and pedestrians. Predominantly a jazz club, it’s held its own here for over 20 years offering up concerts, including evenings with a Cuban, African or Antillean twist to the music. A good number of predominate names have passed through here. However, I wasn’t there to listen to jazz, so I remained in the small downstairs bar for drinks.
With no vermouth in the bar, a martini was out of the question. Instead I ordered (a bit unusual for me) a Bloody Mary. I got a smallish glass of vodka and tomato juice with a bottle of Tabasco and shaker of celery salt on the side. All in all, it was a lame Bloody Mary. I made my second round bartender’s choice and received some kind of vodka and orange soda concoction. The barman was very excited about it, so I take it it’s a big seller here. Matthieu had a bit of a cold and asked the barman to recommend something to help him feel less under the weather. He got a glass of Clément rhum agricole neat.
While I wasn’t impressed with the drinks, the bartender was nice enough and enthusiastically brought out several different rhum agricoles for Matt to try after he commented on his drink. I like the island bar set up and the fact that place stays open until 6am. The prices are a bit steep for such below par drinks at somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 – 12 Euros. But overall, I enjoyed the somewhat seedy feel of the place. I’ll not be returning for cocktails, but it’s an interesting stop for something easy like a beer or coffee.