Laika has always been cool. It’s never had a decrease in crowd quality like most of Montreal’s nightlife spots. When you go to Laika, you can expect consistency – up-beat electro music mixed by a live DJ starting around 10pm, a short menu of very decent food valid until 10pm, and tasty drinks made by a bartender that clearly respects his ingredients.
Laika is simple, and that’s exactly what I like about it. It’s not trying, it just “is”. The waitress might not be the most experienced at opening bottles of Prosecco but she makes up for it with sweetness. The bartender won’t make you the complicated drink that’s currently trending around town but he’ll make you a damn good classic cocktail. The DJ has fun doing his thing and moving to the music. People are hanging and talking over mixed drinks and beer (and, our case, Prosecco – $34) and there’s likely someone tucked away in a corner typing away at a project that’s surely super artsy. And that’s all ok. Everyone’s doing their own thing. And yes, it is a hipster hangout, but even the hipsters at Laika don’t feel like they have to prove their hipsterdom to the world around them– they just seem to want to have a good time with their friends. Cheers to that.
I just have one criticism – the 10pm cutoff for ordering food is ridiculously strictly reinforced. I tried to order a cheese plate at 10:08pm and was told I was too late by what seemed to be a manager. Really? Relax, buddy. Have a drink.
Despite that surprising mini let-down, I like Laika. I’m glad it’s only a fifteen minute walk from my place. And in the summer? Snag a seat on their fun and totally intrusive sidewalk terrasse to enjoy the great people-watching. You want a chill night somewhere that’s more than just a relaxed bar? Laika.
Music 8/10, Pretty people (lotsofbeards) 8/10, Service 7.5/10, Drinks 9/10