Friday, November 14, 2008

Battle of the Hookah Lounges Vol: 1 - Habibi Café vs. Gypsy Café

If you live in Los Angeles, chances are you have hit up the Westwood area to check out the UCLA campus or to do some shopping. It is a great place to chill for the evening and just so happens also has two rival Hookah Lounges. The Hookah Addicts decided to put these two establishments to the test to see who come out victorious in the battle of Westwood village. We will go through our list of criteria for a great Hookah lounge, obviously giving more weight to the quality of the shisha.


Habibi Café is a lively place with excellent décor with lots of comfortable places to sit and a great outdoor area. When you drive down Broxton it is the first thing you see, plus they have a D.J. on weekends. Habibi is usually pretty loud and is hit or miss with service. Gypsy Café is a bit more laid back and suites my hookah experience a bit better. The décor is no where near as elaborate as Habibi, but you usually get decent service and is not a crap shoot. It is even at this point but the fact the Habibi is the preferred place of UCLA students gives the ambience check mark to Habibi.

Habibi Café √ Gypsy Café


Both are good and you cannot go wrong either way. They both have good sized portions and have great Taboulleh, I tasted both the Kabob and the chicken and both were excellent as well. But there are two things that separate them, first the Hummus at Gypsy is amazing make sure you order it when you go. Also price is important to a young adult such as my self and Gypsy wins there too. Complementary water, cheaper prices, and the ability to serve alcohol (Habibi lost their license) gives the check to Gypsy.

Habibi Café Gypsy Café √


Now for the most important part of the Hookah lounge experience, the shisha. I will not even make this suspenseful. Gypsy wins!!!! Not because it was the best, it just saved it self from being the worst. Gypsy’s flavor selection is good although the shish was a little bland and hit a bit hard; it still was satisfying and was a nice experience. Habibi, on the other hand, was awful, it hit really hard I found myself coughing a lot and there was no taste at all. Plus, you have to wait for the waiter to adjust your coals which took forever. It just was not a great place.

Habibi Café Gypsy Café √


Habibi looks like the place to be from the street, but you are much better off crossing the street and heading over to Gypsy Café.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cleaning Your Hookah Hose

If you have cleaned you Hookah base out thoroughly and you are still getting a permanent nasty taste or if your hose is producing ash, it might be time to clean out your hoses. For the most part, hookah hoses are made out of rubber or cardboard. Both can be cleaned, but cardboard hookah pipes usually have a limited life span. So it might be better to just go buy new ones in that case.

To clean your hookah hose all you need to do is run clean water through the hose. I recommend going to the bath tub and using that spout, it can be done in the sink but is a little tight. Run water through the house flexing it periodically until the water runs clear. After this blow through the hookah hose to dry it out and then hang it up to dry. This should change the taste of the Hookah exponentially.

Somethings In the Water

A great trick to improve your hookah experience is to add another liquid other then water to the glass base of your hookah. Any non-carbonated liquid may be added to the water, you can also outright replace the water in the glass base with these liquids as well. However, I would recomme
nd that you always keep some water in you base. The taste of your beverage of choice will drastically change the flavor of the hookah.

Ice is another way to change your hookah experience. When you put ice in the glass Hookah base it cools the smoke which allows for a thicker smoke and also cools the smoke down to a temperature that makes the smoke less harsh.

Whatever you put into the base, if it has a flavor or a smell it will alter the taste of your hookah smoke. The smell of the liquid in the glass hookah is what’s important. The rule of thumb is, the stronger the smell the more it will alter the taste of the hookah. Finally adding vodka or any other alcohols will change the taste, and give you a nice buzz as well. Fruit is another great idea, adding mango slices to your mango shisha is really nice. Mix and Match and you will get some nice new creations.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hookah Instructions: How to Pack a Hookah

Hookah instruction will vary from person to person but the overall message is the same. Packing a hookah can be an art form, but is not that hard to do.

STEP 1: Remove the base of hookah wash it well and fill it again with cold water. You want to fill it up to a level where the bottom of the pipe is right below water level

STEP 2: Remove the bowl, wash it out.

STEP 3: Take the tobacco out of the package and finely open the tobacco leaves. Once all the leaves are opened chop the pieces of tobacco in pieces about 1/4 of the actual size. Slowly sprinkle the tobacco in the bowl or place each piece carefully. Fill to about 1cm from the top

STEP 4: Lightly press a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the bowl and pierce with lots of tiny holes, don’t press the top down too hard, you do not want to pack the bowl tight. Also keep the shinny part down.

STEP 5: With a lighter or on the stove light the piece of charcoal and blow on it until it turns red hot and place it on top of the aluminum foil. STEP 6: Enjoy!!!!!!!!!

Hookah Lounge in Los Angeles- Hookah Lounge on Melrose

I am a Los Angeles native and I know a ton of great place to smoke hookah. I also spent a number of years on the East coast and have friends visiting me all the time. I have found that out of town guest are looking for a certain type of experience. I take my friends to my favorite local spots. But my friends usually want to hit the town as well. That is why I want to recommend The Hookah Lounge and Restaurant on Melrose. It is a cozy and intimate place but maintains a casual chic feel, the Hookah Lounge and Restaurant is a great place to smoke and relax, but also has a full bar and late-night dancing as well. That is why I am recommending it to out of town guest you can have a nice meal and relax. But you also have the night life feel that some people are looking for when they are on vacation in Los Angeles. So if you are looking for a relaxing hookah Lounge experience for dinner that will turn in to a laid back night club. Check out the Hookah Lounge. (7469 Melrose Ave.)

A Guide to the Best Hookah Flavors

Many of you probably already know that mixing different hookah flavors can be quite interesting. But before you can start mixing your flavors, it is very important that you get a good understanding of how each flavor you are mixing tastes, and how potent the flavor is. For example orange is very strong and you usually want to mix it in with other tobacco’s at a lesser rate so that the orange does not over power the rest of the hookah flavors. I will share with you 2 of favorite recipes, and give you as directions as to how to make the mixtures.

Strawberry Banana

Be sure to try Strawberry Banana together. This may seem like a simple combination but if done right it can be heavenly. It is important to not Banana has an overwhelming taste. So I have found that you want to use one part banana and two parts strawberry to get that perfect taste. Now here is the trick put the first part of the strawberry in the bowl and follow that with the Banana and top it off with the remaining strawberry. This mixture is sure to please everyone.

Hookah flavors: 2/3 Strawberry, 1/3 Banana

Peach Mandarin

Mandarin is an extremely potent flavor and is best used in a mixture, which is why in this mixture I would go a step future and have the hookah flavors at a 3 to 1 ratio. You want to use the same layering technique as before start with a good a part of the peach and then add the mandarin and fill in the rest of the bowl with peach.

Hookah flavors: ¾ Peach. ¼ Mandarin

By mixing these hookah flavors the way we have you will get a nice mix, neither one will dominate and you will have an enjoyable and flavorful experience. Good Luck!!

Negative Stereotypes of Hookahs History

The History of Hookah begins in the north western provinces of India along the border of Pakistan nearly a thousand years ago. These Hookahs were extremely rudimentary mainly made out of a coconut shell and a tube. In fact Hookah derives from the Persian word ‘nargile’ which means coconut. They were designed to smoke opium, and hashish. The hookah made its way through the Persian Kingdom, much of Middle Asia and Arab parts of North.

Hookah bars are social places where many people get together to discuss politics and local events. The History of Hookah as a device designed for smoking opium and hashish has created a negative stigma amongst some people in society. The hookah has been growing in popularity in the United States since the experimentation of the sixties. Now they are in college dorm rooms and Middle Eastern market all over the United States. That History of Hookah in the United States has not helped the way that society looks at the hookah. Slowly society is accepting the hookah as more of a pipe for tobacco instead of illegal drugs. Smoking Hookah is an experience that is enjoyable, that creates a relaxed environment for discussion and commodore in a world that has gotten to busy to sit down and enjoy the pleasures of each other’s company.

Mya Hookah – An Innovative Way to Smoke Hookah

Mya Hookahs are one of the most decorative hookahs on the market today. They have been around for over 4 decades and specialize in home ornament gifts made of crystals and other delicate material. There style of hookah ranges from a standard hookah that is nestled in a cage, which is perfect to carry around wherever you go to their more fancy Bohemian crystal Hookah that can be used to smoke or as a beautiful center piece in your home.

Mya Hookah is unique compared to other hookah brands because they also sell all their parts separate from the hookah. They sell hoses, vases, bowls, rubber grommets, and much more accessories if in any case your hookah falls apart, you can purchase the accessory that is necessary to fix the defect. In addition, Mya Hookahs are very air tight due to their patent pending screw feature they have on their hookahs. Instead of having to stick each piece into a socket, you can screw each piece together.

Mya Hookah continues to manufacture their Hookahs and import them to the United States of America. They are one of the leading Hookah distributors and design one of the most creative styles of Hookah.

Hookah Accessory – Do You Have It All?

There is a plethora of Hookah Accessory on the market today that can beef up the smoking experience significantly. Most hookahs have their own unique hookah accessory that is tailored to the size and style of a hookah. Most hookah accessories are used for parts of hookahs that often break or need improvement. From glass vases to hookah bowls, these items are essential for your hookah to function.

Furthermore, some hookah users purchase an upgraded accessory for their hookah to make it look more beautiful and improve the hookah’s functionality. For example, some users will purchase more elaborated hookah hoses to stand out from the norm and make their hookah smoking experience more enjoyable with their hand crafted hoses. Also, some hookah do not come equipped with the correct products to keep a hookah in good shape, so hookah cleaning accessories and protectors are purchased to keep the hookah working well and looking new.

Example of Hookah Accessories:

· Hookah Hose

· Hookah Bowl

· Mouth Tip

· Hookah Hose Filters

· Glass Base (vase)

· Hose Covers

· Rubber Grommets

· Cleaning Brushes

· Hookah Charcoal Holder

· Hookah Torch (Lighters)

· Hookah Wind Covers