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A new hidden lounge at the Castaway offers elevated nightlife

A new hidden lounge at the Castaway offers elevated nightlife
Rayshelle Wright, of Burbank, holds a Classic Martini at Castaway in Burbank in the new hidden cocktail lounge the Green Room on Nov. 1. (Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

The Castaway restaurant in Burbank will soon be opening a hidden door to a secluded lounge experience at the hillside landmark.

The Green Room, which is tucked away near the front of the main restaurant, is a reservation-only lounge that focuses on premium cocktails and appetizers.

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Guests can start making their reservations through the lounge’s website, tgrburbank.com, for the grand opening on Friday. There is a $25 cover charge per reservation.

The Green Room will be open only from 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and during brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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When you walk into the lounge through an unmarked door, you are immediately greeted by head bartender Phil Felton, who is busy concocting cocktails behind a marble-topped bar counter. The main room offers plush couches and chairs and seats 80 people.

For those who want a more picturesque scene, guests can make reservations for one of the 25 seats on the patio, which is separated from the restaurant’s patio via a fireplace.

Marcus Cascio, Castaway’s general manager, said the lounge is a completely different concept from the main restaurant. With the exception of a few dishes, most of the food and cocktails on the menu are exclusive to the Green Room.

Even if someone knows about one of the specialty cocktails offered in the lounge, Cascio said guests cannot order those drinks and have them brought to them in the main restaurant.

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“The lounge and restaurant are separated by 6 inches of walls, but it might as well be 20 miles,” he said. “It’s a completely different ethos in here.”

The elevated appetizers are handled by executive chef Perry Pollaci. He said the Green Room is where he and his staff can experiment with how food is served and what ingredients they should use.

Some of the lounge’s exclusive offerings include lobster corn dogs, wild salmon sashimi and caviar frites. Guests can also order something called the “Pink Brick,” in which a heated Himalayan salt block is used to sear pieces of wagyu beef.

“We really wanted to make a big difference in terms of what the cuisine would be,” Pollaci said, adding that there were some dishes that were too ambitious and proved to be difficult to serve on a nightly basis. “We also wanted the food to be snackable and shareable.”

Felton, who has more than 20 years of bartending experience under his belt, said he was excited to get the lounge up and running. For the past several months, he has been working with the restaurant owner to perfect the exclusive cocktails in the lounge.

Most of the drinks have movie-themed names. The “Belle” is a rose-infused cocktail served in a bell jar, and the “Flying Dutchman” is a rum-based drink poured out of a bottle with a crystal ship inside.

The lounge also serves elevated versions of classic drinks. Martinis are served with olives stuffed with Petrossian caviar and blue cheese, and the Sazerac uses two types of cognac and is topped with absinthe.

“It’s all about building the experience, telling a story with the drinks and the food,” Felton said. “We really want to make sure that everything we serve here is over the top but not pretentious.”

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