(We last heard from him some ten months ago. Quite frankly I feared the worst. Then, out of the blue, he sends a love note to our office today. He is alive and thriving in black Chuck Taylors, albeit high as a kite on opium from what I can tell. Ladies. Gentlemen. Denizens at large. I give you… NoSmell Bob…)

nosmell bob circa 2006


It has been many moons since we last communicated. I now live right at Pico/Crenshaw, and culinary oddities are now blasé and the stuff of everyday meal scrounging. Also, I lack a small digital camera. And I’m lazy. Real lazy. So no reviews for you, unless you want my opinion on a comparative analysis of that Korean soup where they give you a big stone pot full of broth and a small chicken that has been packed with rice, garlic, and ginseng.. and god only knows what else. That’s kind of my favorite meal at these kinds of joints. That and curry. But, I digress.

Last night, my friend Kent was hanging out at my place. We were drinking a couple beers, playing some archaic Playstation 2 games when he suggested we go check out this bar that he was introduced to the night before. I drive us up to 8th and Normandie. Park a couple blocks away, due to the glorious clusterfuck that is our k-town parking situation, amble past several old hispanic ladies with shopping carts converted into a sort of dangerous mobile refectory, and pass under an Alhambra Goudy Honda billboard. North side of 8th, corner building, it’s all painted black, windows are boarded up with black plywood. No name, nothing but a single sea lantern and a window with a small stained glass frame next to the door. Kent knocks on the door, and about 30 seconds later a little door behind a small cage (you know how they do, like in a castle or pirate ship) slides open, and a guy says “PASSWORD.” No question, just a statement. Boy says “[REDACTED].” and the door opens, and we’re in. The guy checks our IDs, and we wander into a dark nautical dungeon of a bar. It is about 9:00 on Sunday so I’m only 30% disappointed that there are only maybe nine other people in this place, but it’s quite a neat little spot, plenty of little places to hide out and formulate evil plots.

And an opium bed.

Drinks were reasonable, burger was basic. No draft beer, and I didn’t get a good look at the important things like selection, cost, and cocktail potency. The pirate theme and secret password are pretty good, and apparently it’s owned by the people who used to own the Ye Rustic Inn, one of my favorite holes in Silverlake, and Miriabell or whatever on Sunset.

The place was pretty casual, though it was an empty sort of Sunday night. All the guys, including this guy, happened to sport black Chuck Taylors, with some variation in high-vs-low-tops and laces customization, and the girls were mid-grade and well-guarded by their goofy males. More study is needed, Ryan. I think you should pull some recon this week, perhaps on Thursday night, and investigate this place. Then again, you probably already kick it there, holding court on the opium couch, and this is old, old news to you.


Godspeed you, mayonnaise-free NoSmell Bob of the black Chuck Taylors and Ktown opium. May you set an example to wayward interns citywide: One day you, too, shall darken this door again. And that is the day, intern. That is the day we all smoke opium, sporting our finest black Chuck Taylors — some high-top, some low-top, some with lacing variants, but all black, all Chucks, just the same. Wait for it.