This unique lounge and restaurant offers up a very different nightlife beat than it's other East Village neighbors. While the staff has been known to lose points on courtesy, the experience of well prepared Mediterranean cuisine, hookahs, and belly dancers probably make the attitude worth it. Prices are a bit high, but overall Le Souk is a good place to bring a few friends, throw back some drinks, and take in the ambience. You can even shake it up a little with some dancing if the music hits the spot.
Le Souk is one of those supposedly 'cool' places, where you get hassled by the doorman even if you have a reservation, and where squeezing by 200 trendy young 20-somethings to get to a tiny table is considered a good place to eat. The decor, I will admit, is fabulous, resembling a Middle Eastern casbah. The food is decent, though given the prices I would have been pissed off if it were anything less. The waitresses were impatient and bitchy, and required us all (10 people) to order at least $30 worth of food, or else we couldn't stay at the table. Once we left for the dance floor downstairs, foreboding security guards gave us nasty looks while more bitchy waiters yelled at us that we couldn't even get close to the chair unless we ordered bottle service (easily $100 or more). We got out of there as quickly as possible, and I sincerely hope never to return.
PROS: good decor
CONS: Nasty staff, overpriced, vapid clientele
My friend had a "going away" party. We had about 21-25 people that day. When we showed up at the restaurant, there was this girl sitting by the entrance and informed us that the restaurant is under "renovation" and sent all of us their joined restaurant Horus Cafe 2 blocks away (this place should be called "Horrible Cafe" ). We later found out from our party organizer that Le Souk did not called her about this until 3 hours before the reservation. Which puts me into suspicion that they probably got "shut down" by the cit due to some sort of violation.
When we finally got through all the trouble going to the other location, we were greeted by a rude manager who insisted that we must wait at the bar until most of our party arrived. First of all, the bar was hardly a bar. it was only a 3 feet by 3 feet area. All of us were already annoying by the fact that we had to change location unannounced, and now we were forced to cramp at the bar even though we clear saw our tables are already set up. We should be buying drinks only if we feel like to, especially we already have reservation set with drinks. Finally, they sat us down after 80% of us showed up. The host of our party was the last to come since it was supposed to be a surprised party. While we were waiting (which was only about 10 min or so) the restaurant was being very inpatient and asked us if we were ready to order every other minute!
The party menu we ordered was a $45 per person family style set menu. The food was decent but it was definitely not worth $45 in terms of portion or selection(chicken, vegies, rice...etc.). The manager sported his same rude manor when some of us had to stand up to let some people going to the restroom, he stormed over and tell us that " You have to sit down right now". We were stunned and felt like we were not being treated respectfully as their customers. At the end, each of us spend avg. of $75 per person. That's about $2000 for our party and we thought we should deserve some respect. But no, one of our friend needed to break a $20 bill. They refused to break the bill and told us that the bar was closed. What kind of lame reason was that?! The restaurant turns into a night bar after hour, how could they tell us that the bar was closed?! They just didn't want to do it for no apparent reason.
I rarely leave a long negative review for any business, but if you have any respect for yourself, do not go to Le Souk or Horus Cafe. No one deserves to be treated that way at a restaurant you pay money to get the service anywhere.
Pros: Food is decent
Cons: Over rated, over priced
I don't know of too many places that has a great vibe like Le Souk does. I used to go a lot, years ago and I went recently and still had a great time. I have read some reviews about people having a hard time getting in. Although this may be true to some extent I think it is important to dress nice, look good and have a good crowd with you. I think this goes for most places... So the neighborhood is not the most pleasant, but that shouldn't stop anyone from coming to eat here and having a great experience!
My advice for those having trouble getting in is, don't be cheap (I know times are hard, but...), make reservations, eat some tasty food then stay and have drinks the rest of the night while listening to great music and watching the belly dancers.
Pros: Good food, great ambience
Cons: Parking is tough around here
This place is way to fun, for those that wrote negative comments
I would find that weird when every time I've gone only but the best times;)))
IT'S HARD TO GET IN IF:
YOU LOOK BUSTED/HAVE A BUSTED LOOKING GIRLSFRIEND OF BOYFRIEND/SNEAKERS ON/
IF YOU LOOK BROKE HAHA WALK AROUND WITH A SAUSAGE CREW (WAY TO MANY GUYS)
So with that said before you leave your house LOOK IN THE MIRROR !!!!! WOULD YOU GO OUT WITH YOURSELF SOBER???? OR DO YOU NEED A DRINK????
Le Souk keeping it real:))) and the bouncers Love them
Pros: Fun times
Cons: wish they had 10 floors
I dont care what any other review says. You have to go there to experience it and judge for yourself. But in my opinion EVERY single time i go, whether its a monday night, wed night, or sunday night..i Always have a blast..Great great music...cool down to earth friendly people. Drinks could be a lil better but hey alcohol is alcohol. the decor is fab..i love the whole arabic loungy type look. It has two floors...the bottom is usually a house/ravey type vibe and the top has your arabic/hip hop/ pop /old school house spinning. And everyone i have brought gets hooked..must be for a reason ;-)
If you want an experience typifying the demise of this neighborhood-ie, you are a meathead/floozie-Le Souk is for you. Met at the door by a thoroughly ridiculous wannabe w/ a clipboard, who turned me away apparently b/c I didn't comport w/ her B&T notion of coolness. I tried to explain that I used to come here 8 yrs ago when the place was actually cool-needless to say, this was unavailing. Sigh. It's a horror show now - stay away.