Neon Kitten | Downtown/Deep Ellum | Dim Sum, Japanese | Restaurant
Lauren Drewes Daniels

Neon Kitten

At the back of Neon Kitten is The Blackbird Society, a reservations-only speakeasy.
Kathy Tran
An izakaya is the Japanese version of an Irish pub or American tavern: a casual bar that serves small snacks. At Neon Kitten, which can be found by looking for the neon pink sign high in the window outside, the snacks are sushi and dim sum, and stacked plastic baskets allow the tender steamed dumplings and wontons to stay warm without getting soggy. The drinks are Japanese-inspired too. On a hot day, try the Osaka, a snowcone-like drink served in a ceramic Hello Kitty mug made with ume and cherry blossom liqueurs, Roku gin, and a touch of sage and grapefruit-like pomelo for a touch of acidity. Large peonies are painted across the walls. Head toward the bathroom and take notice of a bookshelf, which is actually a door that leads to The Blackbird Society. This speakeasy is a high-end cocktail lounge where a bartender will craft a drink for you based on your preferences, likely expanding the boundaries of what you thought was a good drink. The Blackbird Society is only open Thursday through Sunday. Check their website for reservations; on occasion, if the crowd is light, they may invite a few people from Neon Kitten back.

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