Monday, November 30, 2009

Los Feliz

109 Ludlow St. (btw Rivington & Delancey)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-8383

Bathroom situation
- from the people that brought you Spitzer's awesome bathroom situation comes a slightly neutered version of such. The individual br motif is still very much in effect, but there's only 4 of them and they're only in the downstairs area and they don't have airplane-style occupied/vacant indicators on the handles and they're not quite as clean....but otherwise they're getting some kudos round way.
Takes credit cards? - si, y con mucho gusto. You may be confused when you see "Los Feliz" at the top of your bill and not "Taqueria" tho because the street-facing signage of this place is all kinds of backwards.
Crowded on weekends? - yes, but it turns out to be a minor issue. From the street, this place looks way too small to accommodate your typical Ludlow-based Saturday night LES crowd, but there's a large downstairs area that has some wide birthing hips, so it's all good. Hop in!
Seating - street level: a dollop of stools at the bar and 8 or 9 tables that can be pushed together in case Rob Pattinson shows up with his entourage (he won't tho, cuz according to Vanity Fair he's a beer-swillin loner...bless). Downstairs, main level: a couple of wooden benches leftover from Spitzer's. Downstairs, lower level: some cushiony, benchy goodness and a smattering of hard-backed chairs.
Neighborhood - next door to the new SVA dorms, and on the same block as Mehanatta, Motor City & a teensy bodega whose workers flash a geek'd-up smile while they overcharge Visceralist exactly $1 more than the market value for any given six-pack they have in their brokeass coolers.
Pretentious/assholes - yes, which is unfortunate because this place has an above-average pedigree (from the people who brought you Spitzer's, Dark Room & Fat Baby). Not that those places don't attract their fair share of scum, but they don't seem to revel in it like Los Feliz apparently does. There's nothing inherently wrong with button-up patterned shirts or peacoats on a Saturday night in the LES, but...
Cost of Stella - $6 or $7 by the bottle. Visceralist apologizes for the vagueness here, but we bought it with other drinks and with cash, so it was hard to delineate.
What time people start showing up - as of Thanksgiving Weekend '09 this place still seems to retain some of the sheen it carried from being associated with the bars mentioned in the "Pretentious/assholes" category, so people come here early and often most days. The hilarious Yelp reviews however (which vividly call out Los Feliz on its triflin') don't bode well for its future prospects...
Bartender efficiency - this place has 3 bars: street-level, main downstairs & lower downstairs. Street-level has two 'tenders during the busy hours and you'll have to play the usual game of LES-bartender-ego-scratching to get their attention. The lower-level ones, however, are generally less busy and more helpful. It should be noted here that Los Feliz has a two entrances to the downstairs area. One that you see immediately as you enter and which is manned by a bouncer and another which is accessible via a hidden door towards the back of the "restaurant" area (like something out of the Batman TV series from the '60s) that isn't all that hidden cuz people are constantly using it and it doesn't have one of those mechanical arms on it that automatically closes it. That sound you hear in the background is La Esquina and PDT laughing at this place in unison.
Official Website - tienen ningun. Unclear if this absence is just growing pains or some straight perpetratin...
Food? How late - judging from some of the Yelp reviews from when this place first opened, Los Feliz was initially framed as a restaurant that dabbled in bar-dom/lounge-dom. If this is true, this was a huge mistake. They do have food here and they do serve it to the tables on the street-level via waiters, but let it be known that this is a fuckin LES B&T bar with lounge leanings. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing (shouts out to Verlaine), but please don't walk in here thinking you're gonna get the Basil Fawlty treatment. The food is an afterthought.
TVs? What's on - for all the missteps this place has apparently made according to Yelp, it's surprising that they don't have a totally out-of-place flatscreen Samsung here showing The Real World: Las Vegas on loop. They don't though.
Guy:girl ratio - surprisingly guy-heavy, even despite the abundance of Tequila and Scarface posters on the walls (that last part's a metaphor, btw).
Toys - nothing physical, but Visceralist loves posting via iPhone to that Overheard In Los Feliz blog shit like "But you're short...why would I do that?" and "Fuck them, they're just jealous..."
Age of clientele - fuck, the peacoats here are really like endemic. Visceralist has a bone to pick with them cuz they just scream mediocrity. Plus the neck is wide open and wearing scarves is for women. You know who wears peacoats? Tim Allen wears peacoats. So does Robin Williams.
Space for dancing? - the downstairs main level has a comfortable dance floor that alternates between empty and "OMFG, I love this new Lady Gaga!"
ID Check Procedure - Visceralist's male celeb hair-plug/wig/draw-on culprits: Matthew McConaughey, Travolta, Jamie Foxx, Michael C. Hall, Kevin James, Nic Cage, Affleck, Will Farrell, tbc...(this is all pure speculation, btw)
Music medium, style & volume
- the DJ on the downstairs main level apparently holds sway over the soundtrack for the entire bar, which is aight, but god damn, does it have to be that loud everywhere? Granted, everyone loves a strong 808 and snare, but not to the point where it's stirring your tequila gimlet for you.
Specials or most popular drink - so they have a gang of different tequilas here. Visceralist asked the street-level bartender for a recommendation on which one would make for a decent tequila gimlet and was hit with the "um, let's see...." We won't quite call that a fail, but it definitely ain't a ftw.

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