And it isn’t even Friday!
I’m in love with my CPA.
For those of you who are not up with your professional acronyms, that's CPA, as in Certified Public Accountant. I’m in love with my accountant because he banged out my 1040 so hard that he had me sweating all the way to the big (zer)-O!
Zero dollars. $0.00. I don’t owe the IRS a dime! Not a single dime.
Of course, that means I didn’t get a refund either, but I’m trying to teach myself out of negativity these days. *she claps like like a pudgy pink monkey*
So, though I didn’t get a refund, not having to scribble in my checkbook that only gets used once a month for rent (does anyone use a checkbook for anything else?!?!), two checks to two government agencies this year whence last year I had to swear over my first born to the Franchise Tax Board, I was more than happy to celebrate. Dinner! Drinks! Clubbing! Let’s celebrate my non-refund!
We went to the Bowery. Though I had wanted to try it last year, it moved up on my To-Dine List after a personal recommendation. Thank you, youknowwhoyouare, for the recommendation to try The Bowery. :)
On the East Coast, the Bowery is a section of lower Manhattan that was, at various points throughout history, notorious for seedy saloons, petty criminals, and derelicts. On the West Coast, however, all of LA is known for petty criminals and derelicts, and the Bowery is LA’s hippest flavor of the month.
We pulled up to the Bowery’s valet with purpose, since we already knew where the Bowery was. It’s right next door to Magnolia, which we had tried before, and had been slightly disappointed. We had moderate hopes for the Bowery. As soon as I stepped out of the car, three guys in frayed, flared bottom jeans and long sleeve button-down shirts with the cuffs unbuttoned were smoking just outside the front door. They sneered at me. Obnoxious Hollywood? Nah, not their fault. I shouldn’t have whipped out my camera and taken a photo of the sign. Damn FOB tourista.
The Bowery is narrow and small, and though they call themselves a “bar and bistro,” it’s much more a bar than a bistro. The actual bar runs along 80% of the west wall, and the majority of the seating is on bar stools either at the bar or at high tables, which were all taken at an early 7:30 pm. There are only a few tiny regular dining tables in the front. We perched ourselves around one corner of the bar toward the front. The smoking Ben Sherman Trio stumbled back inside and sat down at their table in the front.
I’d love to say that I don’t ever read reviews prior to trying a place for the first time so as not to bias my opinion, but I do. I am a restaurant review reading freak. I knew the Bowery’s decor was reminiscent of New York’s subway, but I wouldn’t have known that, because the last time I was in New York, I was in enormous owl-eyes pink-plastic rimmed glasses and had a super-tight perm. Not much one does in New York when in fifth grade except take sour-faced photos in front of the Rockefeller Center with one's family.
Though Bowery’s exterior is a glossy white tiled facade with a well-lit sign, the interior is dark. It’s dimly lit as any bar would be, but the decor is also mostly black and white with metal accents. The bartop is black, the ceiling is shiny metal, furnishings are black leather with silver studs, and the walls are lined with black tiles. I get why it’s “subway.”
We laughed at the Specials that are listed simply on a chalkboard mounted on the wall. The Specials weren’t funny, and neither were the desserts. It was the PBR, which I didn’t understand at first, but laughed once it was explained to me. I would have tried PBR, and probably would have liked it, if it’s anything like MGD!
Instead of a PBR, I sipped on a Citron/soda while trying to read the menu. The Monkey had a Chimay. The menu shouldn’t have been difficult to read, since it is printed in simple typewriter-style font, but the place is so dark, I was holding the small card about three inches from my face. There are only about a dozen items, from a Spinach Salad to a Charcuterie Plate to Macaroni au Gratin (that’s “fancy” for mac n’ cheese). We were planning to go out later that night, so we wanted to keep dinner light, which is why the Bowery Burger made perfect sense. The burger is served on an English muffin, which always the best choice when cutting back on carbs, right? Blue cheese and grilled onions cost a dollar extra each, but hey, I’m a big spender with my tax non-return! Heck, let’s get a “side” with that burger, too! I’m feeling generous tonight!
Juices and grease had wept out of the medium rare chopped sirloin burger into the craters of the muffin. The soaked muffin buckled under the weight of the enormous burger and had flattened into a delicious disc of beefy blood. I slipped it out from under the burger with my fingers and ate it in no more than four bites. We attacked the burger with a fork and knife, careful that we didn’t knock over the slippery sweet onions or the perfectly pungent cheese.
For the record, caramelized onions and blue cheese are a fabulous combination.
The Bowery’s menu has the old standards as “sides.” Shoestring French Fries never fail, but we ended up flipping a Monkey between Crispy Sweet Potato Fries and Buttermilk Battered Onion Rings, since mashed potatoes were, of course, too heavy. Either way, we wouldn’t lose, and since Monkey landed headfirst into the Chimay glass, we had Sweet Potato Fries. They were crisp, and the perfect balance of natural sweetness and human-enhanced salt. I think somewhere on the plate there was a small cup of ketchup, but I might have accidentally inhaled it, stainless steel cup and all, with the rest of the food on the plate. Did I lick the plate?!?! I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised at myself. I've done worse things. Besides, I had sucked down two cocktails by half the burger.
Though I was feeling like a Sugar Mama with my tax non-refund and would have thrown my zero dollars at dessert, we were already way too full. A slice of cheesecake would have sent us long past the point where our clothing would earn an "Oh. Oh no. Oh, no she di-int." No, no we didn't. I collected the Monkey, paid the very reasonable cheeck, and dashed off to the next episode...
6268 Sunset Boulevard (@Vine)
Hollywood, CA 90028
** a year ago today, my heart was healthy, but my waistline was not **