Another Night Out In Koreatown

On Friday we walked to a taco truck that Jonathan Gold wrote about. After buying a counterfeit copy of Scott Pilgrim from behind the truck, we walked south down Western into Koreatown. We bought 7-11 brand beers and chugged them in the entrance to a church parking lot.

We had heard there was a bar around the corner named Barcade. My pan-coastal sensibilities made me wonder if that bar was related to the one on Union. Google Maps said this one was closed but a group of guys in their early twenties wearing Starter caps smoked cigarettes outside the entrance.

We walked inside and saw that the bartender was serving aguardiente and Colombian rum. We each ordered these drinks to commemorate our time on the Caribbean outside of Santa Marta. Another bar patron told us that the bartender was the leader of a popular Los Angeles cumbia band.

The bar (unrelated to the one in Williamsburg) had Rampage and Ms. Pac Man. The Playboy pinball machine ate my quarter. I went to the bathroom, and when I came back Nicole was talking to an “artsy” couple across the table. They were here because the DJ deejayed their wedding.

I asked the artist questions that made me seem like an LA douchebag, because he answered them negatively: “oh do you get to travel a lot with your art?”

It sounded like I was measuring his success based on where his art was shown, but really I just don’t know what kind of questions to ask artists, and travel is something I’m interested in.

The married couple left to dance, and Nicole and I tried to figure out if we should head to an empty party in Echo Park, when I received a text.

“Look next to the rampage machine. I’m looking lasciviously at you. 3 way?”

It was Charley, Cate, and Andrea friends we hadn’t seen in weeks.


We went outside to chug our second 7-11 beer. Joel woke up from a post-Happy Hour nap and met us around the corner.

We walked back inside. I bought two rum and cokes. Joel loaned me 2 bucks for tip. Behind the counter two new bartenders seemed to be investigating the alcohol supply. I noticed a badge, and a distressed look on the original bartender’s face. He continued serving drinks but asked us each three itmes what our orders were.

The cops left and he regained his calm. We continued to drink $5 (non-Colombian) rum and cokes.
Food was still on our mind as four tacos (and a huge bite from Nicole’s torta) were not enough. So we walked to “Biergarten” a Korean vision of Oktoberfest. We’d been there several months before for 1¢ pitchers of PBR and “drunken chicken.”

The restaurant was closed so we went to Piper’s, a Middle American diner that opened in 1964 but whose menu has adapted to the neighborhood.

The five of us ordered more beer and french fries. I made the mistake of ordering the sliced bbq sandwich because it wasnt very good. I was tricked into ordering this because I like the prospect of free garden salads.


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