Profile: For The Good Time
Fancy, fancy Mondays. Back in the game I go cat go. Back with the commute. Back with the cubicles. Back with the big boy clothes. Back with the requisite Good Time at the end of the day.
For The Good Time. Just around the corner from Nandarang, yet largely smoke-free and delightfully less crowded. If you’ve ever. Ever driven by and not stopped, it is blatantly obvious that you sir are not For the Good Time. Me, I’m For The Good Time. The ritual goes something like this:
Bartender: (peers at me, disinterested) . . .
Me: God Damn it. Gimme Hite, amigo. Pronto. I just escaped cube city.
Bartender (opening Hite) . . .
In my mind it went just that way. In real life it began with the valet man at the joint next door.
Me: Is it ok to park For The Good Time?
Me:For The Good Time. Is there a place to park, here or in back, For The Good Time?
Valet: Yeh you can park right there, free.
Me: Thanks, man.
I park it. Walk inside. A mini-grand piano and microphone stand greet me inside the door. Excepting two guys on the patio, I’m the sole customer. Posters of Frank, Trane, De La Hoya adorn the walls. Decor is a combination of cozy and strange. Straight out of 1989. Looks like one of those live jazz supper club joints. You know the ones. You see somebody mind-bogglingly amazing like McCoy Tyner, Pharoah, Jimmy Smith (RIP)…all the while you’re distracted because the decor is so freaking goddamstrange. Flowers. Lots of maroon, chrome, black. Faux art deco. Is it old people decor? Where the hell can you buy chairs like this? Do jazz legends like the decor, or simply put up with it?
We’re back For The Good Time now. I wonder briefly if the place is a hostess bar. Speaking of bars I’m making my way to that one, pronto. I get intercepted by the bartender, halfway. I head him off by speaking first.
Me: I’ll sit at the bar.
Him (pointing to bottles): We don’t have mixed drinks, man.
Me: You got beer?
Me: I’ll have a beer. Hite.
Everything’s For The Good Time after that. I scope the menu. He’s right: The place has no mixed drinks. You can buy beer or soju by the bottle and then it jumps to a “half bottle” of booze (beginning at $60) up to a full bottle of booze (topping at $325). Basically For The Good Time you need to come prepared with eight guys who like drinking straight whiskey. That, or wait until you’re pushing 70, retired, crabby and more than able to polish off a liter of Crown Royal without blinking.
Me: (motioning to the piano crowding the door) You guys have live music?
Him: We…used to. Not anymore.
I really can’t tell which of us is more bored with this conversation. Regardless, both parties are very amiable.
Here I sit For The Good Time in pants a’fancy. I take a drink from my tiny Hite glass. I loosen the tie. Take off my shoes. Call my attorney. Get comfy. Some guy who may or may not be the owner comes in with three women in tow, barking orders to the waiter. I down my booze and munch a few peanuts. Later, I will discover this place has one of the highest health ratings in all of Koreatown. 95. Not just “A”… Big “A”. Cleanest beer I’ve ever had. No hipsters in sight. No whiteys in sight but me. Frankly, nobody in sight. Not bad for a Monday.
For The Good Time
610 S Serrano
Free (sparse) parking