The Loft 

Anyone who has spent quality time carousing around the streets of downtown Boise late at night is probably familiar with the scene at 9th and Idaho, the corner The Loft calls home. It's one of the few clubs in town where folks form a long line and patiently await the chance to walk through the front door. Most of them dress in the typical night club attire—fur, high heels, leather, oversized sports jerseys, a vast array of excessive accoutrements—and spend most of their wait flirting, fighting and passing out on each other. Based on the clientele who religiously form a queue on the front sidewalk every weekend, one could make the following assumption about this establishment: The Loft provides an ideal atmosphere for people who are trying to hook up. Scores of people go to The Loft to party, but do people actually go to The Loft to eat?

Well, we did, and I sincerely believe our waitress was shocked by our request for menus. "Oh, you want to eat?" she asked us. My head quickly filled with images of her journey into the back room to wake up the short order cook, dust off some discarded menus, and give herself a motivational pep talk before facing "the diners." At 8 p.m. we were literally the only people in the joint with plates in front of us.

The menu turned out to be surprisingly decent, though it was mostly pizza and burgers. I chose the black bean, garlic and red onion flat bread pizza, and I was very satisfied with the way it turned out, despite my initial hesitation to drool over bar food. The sauce was tangy and sweet, and the chef was nice enough to load it up with tons of really tasty fresh garlic and mounds of cheese. My date ordered a portobello mushroom burger and some super meaty soup. She said both her sandwich and her soup were fabulous, although the glow of the dim orange lighting was less than flattering on her food's appearance.

So the orange lighting was bad—especially when it was dimmed even more to get the night life vibe flowing—but not the food. The clientele, however, stayed true to form and provided an interesting visual backdrop to our meal, but it's exactly what I expected on a night at The Loft. However, I didn't expect to like the food as much as I did. In fact, I'd recommend the grub to anyone who wants to get down while they fill up.

—Elijah Jensen likes to get down on pink shag carpet.

The Loft, 622 W. Idaho St., 344-5223. Mon-Thur: 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Fri: 4 p.m.- 4 a.m., Sat: 5 p.m.- 4 a.m.

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