Dear Mr. Gold:

Any suggestions as to what Troubadour-adjacent dinery might be good to take the Meat Puppets out to dinner? Allow me to treat you to some serious Belgian beverages at Lucky Baldwin’s in the near future.

—Dave Shulman, The Next Cubicle to the Left

Dear Mr. Shulman:

The Meat Puppets? One of my favorite bands! I remember their first L.A. show, at the Hong Kong with Monitor and Human Hands. I saw God that night, or a reasonable facsimile anyway. Jesus, they were great. A year later, at the former Press Club, my lawyer friend Fenster tried to represent them, an offer that they sensibly declined. Well, maybe sensibly — he ended up discovering the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, and is probably wiping his bottom with $100 bills now, not that he’s returned my calls since 1999. The Pups deserve to eat well.

But given that our mutual employer is unlikely to spring for Dan Tana’s or the Palm anytime soon, the Troubadour is a pretty weak restaurant neighborhood. Dominick’s is decent, and very musician-friendly, but is farther than you want to walk. Bin 8945 is a great wine bar with good food, revivified since Mike Bryant, late of Norman’s, took over the kitchen, but it is not cheap. If they’re vegans — can they really be vegans? — Kinara Cafe, on Robertson, is passable. But my vote goes to Fat Fish, just a short walk away, with oddball if tasty sushi rolls, swing-on-the-chandelier waiters and a killer sake list. The blood-red room in back, which could pass for the monster’s lair in a mid-’60s Hammer vampire flick, is the weird lounge to which all other weird lounges aspire. 616 N. Robertson Blvd., W. Hlywd., (310) 659-3882.

LA Weekly