The Cork, 4771 W. Adams Blvd., L.A. [Yelp]

BLACK GUYS DON'T SING ALONG TO OLDIES AT THE BAR ANYMORE. At least, not right away. They sing Robin Thicke songs into their drinks with the passion of twelve-year-old girls, and grimace through Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield like dogshit's in the air until they throw a couple more back, realize it's a Saturday afternoon and there are only two hot girls here, and embrace their inner Pendergrass. If you're a jukebox addict, this adds up to about seven bucks of your money in the Cork's digital jukebox, which you're better off spending at once instead of a dollar at a time, lest your drink get warm and your company get cold while you spend twenty minutes looking through 20,000 albums to find your forty favorite songs of all time. Options: the joy and the agony.

The Cork's jukebox ain't cheap either: two songs for a buck. Actually, for a hood bar, not much about the Cork is cheap. Their menu's price section is a vast column of four-digit numbers. A banner on the back wall proudly announces tacos for $8 each at happy hour. I've heard of monkeys that drive cars with their feet. I've never heard of an $8 taco. But Modelo Especials were five, and the friendly Midwestern bartender with the jewfro gave us a couple of free tequila shots. A nice old white lady named Colleen told me I look like Burt Reynolds, which is not unprecedented (see Burt Reynolds Vs My Dad), but I was still so chuffed I still haven't trimmed my beard. The Cork is like a strip club without poles, which of course made me feel instantly at home. And we just stayed away from the jailhouse patio, which a patron supposedly squeezed a few bullets off in last month, according to Yelp. So no harm, no foul. The real reason The Cork is so pricey is not so much because of the prices, but more because you'll probably have such a good time that you'll drink way more than is necessary on a Saturday afternoon. That, or any hospital bills you may incur on the patio.

BAMBOO TONIGHT. DJs Spye and Yoshe on the tables. 10835 Venice Blvd., next to Cafe Brasil in Palms. Mojitos, full bar, best food on the West. I'm on ten to eleven-ish while the superstars settle in. Until then, I'll be at home trying to get Abba's "Dancing Queen" out of my head. Two weeks and counting.

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