MARINA CANTINA
105 S Lake St, Kirkland, 425-576-5600

It's a long way out to downtown Kirkland, but the affable Marina Cantina rewards those who make it with a kitschy drinking experience that's equal parts 1960s Hollywood Cinco de Mayo party and 1999 sorority bash. The wait staff are charming, the appetizers are prettily arranged, and the drinks come sugary-sweet. Like many an Eastside joint, the Cantina is a big ol' hetero meat market--Kirkland's youth fashion elite cast covetous sidelong glances at each other (and at the tables of the lucky seated few, since the club's popularity exceeds its capacity)--but it also hosts a fine rockaraoke band every Thursday, and you can't ask for a less critical audience than 100 dancing, blitzed Eastside twentysomethings (and the fortysomething divorcées who dote on them). Go, and bring your friends (or be prepared to make some new ones). Sing "Sister Christian" to the blond cutie in Prada. Have a lovely time, and watch out your window for deer on the way home. ANNE MATHEWS

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