Girl Drink Drunk: Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen

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In a little house on McKinney Avenue, Jessica and I- after a bit of a parking adventure involving me running out and hopping into her car in the middle lane of McKinney and showing her how to get behind our desired location--sat down for some catching up on recent trips, some dinner and, of course, some girl drinks.

The chic boo-mod (my term for the newly ubiquitous design style that is clean and modern with a penchant for bamboo furnishings) Lumi Empanada & Dumpling Kitchen offers a range of savory pockets and tapas-style dishes in addition to entrees and signature drinks. So, we tried an empanada, a dumpling and a tuna nacho and dove head first into the drinks...but did not wait 30 minutes to digest.

Our waiter pointed out four top-sellers in the drink column and they just happened to be the four we couldn't decide between, so Jessica took charge when he said the Lumi Lychee was the most popular: "You get the Lumi Lychee, I'll get the Lychee Mojito. Sound good?" It sounds great when someone else makes a decision for me and actually nails what I wanted to begin with so I confirmed and Tall Nick went off to make our drinks.

Maybe it was that we'd already started mowing down the ahi tuna nachos with fresh slices of jalapeno on each one, or maybe it was that it was 100 bazillion degrees outside, or maybe it was discussion of Jessica's airport experience from hell, but we were thirsty when our lychee libations arrived. We essentially sucked the bastards down, before Jessica realized that rum might be her kryptonite. She could have a couple martinis or 3 beers and be ready for the next shindig, but a quickly sipped rum cocktail sends her into slow-motion tipsyville...especially when said cocktail is mixed with a heavy hand.

Like Jessica's mojito, my Lumi Lychee was rummy and sweet. Like, sa-weet. The cran juice didn't cut the 'chee. But seeing as how it was served in a martini glass allowing for easy-access sipping, it disappeared quickly despite the syrupyness. The diver-scallop-sized orbiting lychee was a little off-putting, if only because I felt that I was shorted a goodly amount of drink in favor of a garnish that could have been sliced and wedged on the side. Also, I'm familiar with the lychee fruit. I dig on it, really. But for someone who isn't, that floating spongy thing might be a turn-off.

So we moved out to the patio, and on to tequila. I went with the Ginger Lime Margarita and Jess with the Jalapeno Pineapple Marg. Both were outstanding but be forewarned: You will get a mouthful of either pepper or ginger through that straw--which is fine, unless you're not paying attention. If that's the case, you will find that you automatically start chewing, realize that perhaps you should just go ahead and swallow because that much ginger (like, all of the ginger that was at the bottom of your glass) is a little harsh on the tongue and pretend like nothing happened because the guy at the next table totally saw the face you made and is now watching to see what you do. Or, you might just occasionally get a bit that you either swallow, or pointedly pick off your tongue while glaring at the guy because he will. Not. Stop. Looking. At. Your. Table.

Then you might think--or maybe this was just my experience while Jess excused herself for a moment--what if I'm a total asshole and that guy is blind and has no idea he's looking at us? But no, he's not because he gets up later after signing his non-Braille tab and walks sans-cane to his sports car on McKinney. Then you just feel bad for his date. She was just listening to your conversation, and frankly, you can respect that, because it was a really good conversation.

Like I said, they were really good drinks.

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