By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
After swapping stories about hemorrhoid cream and the Eisenhower-Stevenson election with the early-bird crowd, it’s time to head back east to Hillhurst — to Ye Rustic Inn and the Drawing Room.
Ye Rustic Inn is first. This place is loud, fun and stocked with hip, attractive coeds. If you’re looking for drunken, promiscuous sex (and, if you’re anything like me, four or five drinks in, it’s probably in the back of your mind), this is your spot. Crawl discipline now becomes essential. Nothing should interfere with the flow of the crawl, not even your genitals. One quick drink and move on. Better yet, one shot and move on. Even better still, pick out the person you want to have drunken, promiscuous sex with, buy her a carbomb and bring her across the street with you to the Drawing Room.
With the cheapest drinks on the crawl, The Drawing Room is the time to take your inebriation to the next level. Dark and dingy, the place virtually demands you take a shot of Jameson and follow it up with a beer. After all, this is the crawl’s halfway point — you earned it. Though the dartboard in the back corner of the room could be cause for concern (after this many drinks, it’s generally wise to steer clear of flying projectiles), the board is electronic and the darts have blunted, plastic tips. Even the lightweights should make it out safely.
If all goes according to plan, you should next roll southward a couple of blocks and into Good Luck Bar shortly after it opens at 8. With its over-the-top Chinese opium den/whorehouse theme and bartenders clad in black, Good Luck sometimes seems like it’s trying just a little too hard. But it’s got one of the best jukeboxes in all of Los Angeles — any bar that has both Louis Prima and Bad Brains on the same machine is OK by me. Getting there early carries the added advantage of ensuring you’ll actually be able to hear the music you pick. After 10 o’clock, you could spend the rest of the night at the bar without getting through the backlog. Drinks can be a little pricey, so I’d stick with beer for buzz-maintenance purposes — a Tsingtao perhaps.
The next stop, heading west on Hollywood, is Cheetah’s. From the outside, Cheetah’s looks like the kind of place guys go to get $20 handjobs out back by the dumpster. It’s not ... at least I don’t think it is ...
Inside, it’s a “panties and pasties” burlesque room with a golden hue and a pantheon of cute, friendly bartendresses and tattooed dancers. Lady crawlers should have no fear — the place is female friendly, and it’s large enough that your group should be able to get a private table. If that doesn’t sound especially reassuring, a shot of tequila should cure any lingering apprehensions. And don’t forget to tip your dancers.
When you’re done with pasties and heels, take a 15-minute walk west on Hollywood. This is the longest walk on the crawl, so if your buzz is waning, make sure to get it back where it needs to be before you leave Cheetah’s. After walking for 10 minutes, you’ll see the Salvadoran dance club Guatelinda on your left. “I’m tired of walking,” you’re bound to think, “let’s go here.”
Patience. Unless you’re packing at least a C-cup housed in a low-cut tank top, you’re looking at a hefty cover — possibly as much as 20 bucks. No sense spending that kind of money to stay for less than an hour. It’s still way too early to settle down for the evening. A little farther up you’ll also pass Jumbo’s Clown Room — another burlesque club. Don’t bother. By this point of the night it’ll be too crowded to get in. Besides, do you really need to see more boobs?
Instead, head farther west to The Stone — an amazing, dark little hole-in-the-wall that serves as the ultimate pub-crawl wild card. Some nights it’s a hipster dance club, other nights it’s got a surly dive-bar element, but more often than not it’s a Thai gay bar. Hipster dance night generally has a cover — usually no more than $5 and almost always worth it. If it’s Thai gay night, expect to see some very short, half-naked men dancing in Speedos.
By this point in the night you’re most likely wasted and possibly thinking about cutting the crawl short. Those are the thoughts of a crazy person. It’s time for some food to get blood sugar up. You’re in the heart of Thai Town, so there are plenty of options, but I recommend Hi Thai Noodle & Thai Angel Café — right next to the Stone. The food is just so-so, except for the noodles, which are actually quite good, but — and maybe this is me — alcohol-induced reduction in motor function makes them too hard to eat. If you can manage, they have free karaoke in the back and serve stiff vodka drinks in discreet plastic mugs.