Blueberry Lemonade, Mocha Frappe, Strawberry Smoothie
Located in a nondescript strip mall with a simple black and white banner serving as the only indication of its existence suffice it to say that Café Darak is all the rage with local Yelpers, the Korean-style shop serving up a variety of coffees, teas, frappes, and desserts in a setting conducive to conversation and relaxing amidst shabby-chic furniture, kitsch decor, and even a pop-up canvas Volkswagen bus. Best described by the term ‘precious’ with stamp cards hung on the walls and toys delivered with each tray of drinks it was to the sounds of Velvet Underground that we entered the small store and although the only ones placing an order as a few customers lingered to utilize the surprisingly slow Wi-Fi the pace of the service was leisurely at best – three drinks and a dessert necessitating nearly twenty minutes’ wait and rousing wonder of what would happen in the case of more business. Left to rest as Lou Reed rambled overhead when drinks finally arrived expectations were perhaps slightly inflated and although the blueberry lemonade proved both tangy and natural neither the strawberry smoothie nor the mocha frappe were memorable in the least – a subpar blender delivering a crunchy iced experience that could not be sipped through a straw with bland flavors harkening subpar fruits and cheap chocolate sauce, respectively. Largely unimpressed by the beverages along with the substantial wait it was thankfully in the toast that Darak found a bit of solace as the crunchy bread yielded a pliable center gilded with honey, ice cream, cinnamon and sliced almonds but with the rest of the desserts made elsewhere and the rest of the experience largely lacking I’d be hard pressed to justify a reason to return with two Sambalatte locations serving up a better vibe, larger variety, quality baristas, and a true in-house pastry program without all the twee and time waste.
ONE AND A HALF STARS: Overpriced, overrated, and a little too cute for its own good Café Darak strikes me as a place for kids to hang out and chat over drinks no better than those at Starbucks. Pairing slow service with outsourced pastry there are simply far better places to get coffee in Las Vegas and most of them don’t subject patrons to Lou Reed or laggy wi-fi.
RECOMMENDED: Honey Toast and Lemonade
AVOID: Anything necessitating a blender; Darak would be better off with a $30 Magic Bullet than the aged contraption they are using.
TIP: As noted above, pastries are not made in house and coffee is not particularly well roasted – mileage may vary for the tea drinkers who seemed to constitute the majority of patrons during our forty minute stay.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor