Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beer #47 & 48 / Day 10: Dive Talkin'

"I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one" - Capt. Willard, "Apocalypse Now"

It was Friday night, the end of the work week, the evening my Wife & I look forward to the most.  Sometimes we do something nice, sometimes we opt for the ridiculous. Whatever it may be, we like to try something new.  Neither of us really felt like going out, but we had spent the entire week at home vegging in front of the TV.  We needed to get off our asses and go do something, even if it was completely lame.

This looks like a snuff film, doesn't it?
So, I made us try out a dive bar in Sunland/Tujunga called The Rattler. We had driven by last month, and it looked like it had a fresh coat of paint & was trying to be something other than a crappy dive bar.  Surprise! Turns out it's a crappy dive bar. We like our dive bars, but this was even way weirder than either of us expected. The layout of the room was odd and uninviting. The bar was uncomfortable, with foot rests too high unless you're Billy Barty. Someone put money in the jukebox and, without irony, started playing songs that we've only heard our 10 year old son & our young nieces listen to... "What Does The Fox Say"? While a blond gal straddled the jukebox & gyrated to little kids' dance music, some guy was getting his mouth bloodied & teeth knocked out during an MMA match on the TV. Another drunk local stumbled up behind me and muttered complaints about me taking his seat. I offered it back, but he cashed out and left. Another drunk patron loudly blabbed about how she was going to create a reality show about The Rattler.  Much like reality shows, this place bore no resemblance to actual reality.  Also very unrealistic was the fact that I didn't order a beer.  I went for Jameson, because it seemed strangely more fitting.  The only saving grace was the extremely cheerful and accommodating bartender who was generous with the whiskey pours. 
Best sign in Tujunga.

After one round, we crossed the street to an old school establishment, Al Read's.  From the outside, it looks like the most awesome mid-century steakhouse.  On the inside, it looks like the room of a 1970's office complex.  It felt like we were at the tail end of an Elk's Lodge social, where the six occupants of the room were all at least 20+ years older than us.  And yet, we felt much more at home.  These locals were funny, friendly, welcoming, and you know they've been coming to the same room and telling the same jokes for the past 40 years.  I sucked up my beer snobbiness and went for the least likely choice I could make, the MICHELOB AMBER BOCK - Beer #47.  Speaking of dated, I can't remember the last time I had a Michelob, or if I ever have, for that matter.  Strangely enough, this beer really isn't that bad.  As the name implies, it's a semi-dark bock style, that's malty and easy.  In an environment like this, I wouldn't expect, nor would I want, anything fancier.  We enjoyed some appetizers, chatted with the cool old guy bartender, and caught the first half of the Clippers vs. Lakers game. And for the record, I'm a long time Clippers fan. I root for the underdog, and they've nearly always been the underdog, especially considering the long shadow cast by the legacy of the Lakers.
Old Man beer.

At halftime, we headed home to get comfy & catch the last half of the game.  I decided to go fancy for the second half, so I popped the cork on a MOA FIVE HOP - Beer #48.  I was expecting a Nelson hop blast, but it was more subdued and creamy.  Subtle and tasty.
It was a Clippers blowout, they decimated the Lakers by 36 points.  I was ready to decimate the same number of beers this weekend, so I turned in early and dreamt unreal dreams of game animals wandering through our living room.


  1. "The Rattler" used to be the "Sundown", which used to be the church of the local biker club. According to local chatter the meth is better than the booze there.

  2. Shit, man, I ordered Jameson when I could have had meth?