Today I’m doing something a little different reviewing my visit to the Lowell Cafe (now the OG Cannabis Cafe) on 10/19 in good old Hollywood, California. I love the idea of this place. A restaurant that has a built in dispensary where you can chill and smoke and eat all under one roof are all parts of an equation that should add up to an awesome time, and it does, but one that needs a lot of work. Here’s the break down on the bill. The tokage fee is $30 per person, the puffco was a $25 rental and the gravity bong was a $75 rental. All and all it was basically $200 for us to smoke our own weed and concentrates out of their devices. On arriving we were turned back because my buddy Dabberchan had his Puffco peak on him which we planned on using while there. They said it was against some sort of regulation and it wasn’t going to be allowed in even if it stayed tucked away for the duration of our visit. I wish it would have mentioned the fact you can’t bring your own rigs when I confirmed our reservation, it even goes so far as to mention they frown upon hats and shorts being worn in the evenings, but nothing about not bringing your own equipment. We were seated right away and I knew exactly what I wanted to order, one of the two 710 labs noodle doinks I spotted on the menu, but they were sold out. We briefly thought about picking up some flower but our budtender told us that they didn’t have samples we could look at since everything is sealed etc due to state regulation. I remember that line from Connected back in the early prop 64 days too, one hurdle they quickly got over because the truth is, most people want to see a sample of the herb they’re going to drop money on. We opted to pay the per person tokage fee and rented a puffco and the cool looking gravity bong everyone seems familiar with from Seth Rogans viral video a while back.
When it was brought it out and they were showing us how to us it, it leaked hard and they had to take it away and get it reseated, but from that point it didn’t leak anywhere but from the mouth piece. Seriously, I felt like I drank a gallon of water from the splashback on that thing. There needs to be a hose attachment or something that allows you to get some distance from that water. As it sits, it’s really not worth it. The food was awesome but damn, we barely had room on this tiny table for two, plates were hanging off the edge and we definitely felt shoulder to shoulder with other cafe goers. In the end, the waiter kind of dipped off and our waters didn’t get refilled, I realized that we were coming up to the end of our 90 minute time limit and this was most likely a subtle hint for us to make our exit. I would have ordered a milkshake but with the vibes I picked up at the point I felt like they were going to give it to me in a to go cup. I get there is a line out the door so they have to do something to keep those tables moving but if someone drops that scratch on rentals maybe ease up on that pressure. All that said, I think it is a unique experience and you can make it affordable by going the pre-roll route. Either you bring your own and pay the tokage fee or buy one of their prerolls if you see something you like. That way you aren’t renting pieces which seems to be the most expensive aspect of this cafe. For me, if you’re a local seasoned smoker, this place might not be for you at the moment. It feels like it’s pre-roll factory geared towards curious tourists who know weed is legal in California and want a chance to safely experience that in a judgement free zone. To me, that’s really what you are paying for when you come to the Lowell Cafe, you are renting a space that allows you to eat and smoke to your hearts content with other like minded positive folks who won’t judge you for it, as long as you can do that in 90 minutes anyway.