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Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

Step into my lair...
Step into my lair...
All photos by Laine Doss

Patpong Road, the intimate lounge atop Khong River House is designed to recreate the famous Bangkok night market and red light district of the same name.

TripAdvisor reviewers make it sound like Lincoln Road with go-go bars, food stalls, sexy women, and ladyboys -- which is awesome in our book.

So how did 50 Eggs do in bringing Bangkok to South Beach? Very well, indeed.

We were invited to tour the red-light speakeasy on the eve of its opening. Here's what we found:

See also: John Kunkel on Opening of Patpong Road and Fate of Khong Fuzi

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

The stairway leading to the space from the alley downstairs is covered with the same colorful murals that are plastered all over Thai buildings. It's a jumble of Hollywood movie posters, signs for local bars, and graffiti. Can you spot Marilyn Monroe's iconic face in the midst of ads advertising sexy girls?

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

Warm amber and red hues soften the room, which is filled with cushy brown leather couches and golden candlelight. Edison lamps give the lounge, decorated with Chicago brick and intricate wood panels, a soft glow.

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

A DJ spins throwback music. Prince and Michael Jackson lay the soundtrack for the night.

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

Plumbing fittings under the bar hold your handbag.

 

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

As promised, cocktails are served in plastic bags by beautiful women. The "Laid-ee" drink ($10) is made with rum, fresh fruit, and a sriracha infusion. It's sweet, spicy, and utterly addictive (especially when you fish out pineapple chunks and a cherry at the end of the cocktail. So what the heck is a "Laid-ee" drink, anyway? Traverse the real Patpong Road and you'll soon be accosted by "ladies" who will ask for you to buy them drinks like this in exchange for "company".

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

Summer rolls made with ground pork, carrots, onions, scallions, oyster sauce, and Vietnamese coriander, are wrapped in rice paper and served with a citrus dipping sauce.

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

Shrimp, chicken, beef: If you can skewer it, you can savor it here with your cocktails.

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

Drunken noodles with long bean, bell pepper, bamboo, onions and eggs, are tossed with chili and holy basil. They're served in a take-out container with chopsticks.

Patpong Road: Bangkok's Red-Light District Comes to SoBe

The Hive & Seek ($13) is another sweet and spicy libation. Made with gin, lemon, and white pepper bird chili syrup, it's lemony with a slight sting.

With re-purposed wood, neon lights, and tin roof trim, this sexy little lounge is like a trip to Bangkok -- without the 12-hour flight in coach. Patpong Road is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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