| Korea House Lounge |
Simple Cocktail - $4.00
“Never get less than 12 hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.”
If only he’d added a forth: never bring your credit card to a Korean hostess lounge masquerading as a San Antonio dive bar. I got so plowed I hardly have memories with which to piece together a review. The only item in my notepad is the phrase “drunk man” and its translation “surl chi han numb ja.” It’s scrawled in someone else’s handwriting. The other artifacts:
• An empty bottle of 40-proof Korean grain alcohol.
• Splintered wood and a broken slide-lock lying on the floor beneath my apartment’s backdoor.
• A credit-card receipt for $215.
It was supposed to be a simple review of the Korea House Lounge off Walzem. Mr. S and I had planned for a couple rums and coke, a few games of eight ball, and then back to my house for Shiners and some British-comedy DVDs. We didn’t plan on a professional get-you-fucked-upper attaching herself to us. She helped us drink ourselves faceless; we got lose-your-keys-and-shoulder-in-your-back-door hammered.
I hate to admit it, but without our hostess we would’ve been completely helpless to show ourselves a good time (see aformentioned British comedy plan). She warbled karaoke and we felt her muscles — we were probably charged for both. For every $4 cocktail we bought ourselves, she charmed herself a $10 shot of lord-knows-what with corny jokes and sexy questions, like what does it mean to be “kinky?” To be fair, she was also responsible, (in all futility) discouraging us from trying the jinro shoju wine advertised on the wall. And once our tab broke $150, she pulled the more sober of us (Mr. S) aside to preview the bill. Of course, she didn’t stop us when I stumbled into the cold night without my coat, house key in the pocket.
Any investment banker will tell you the best part of Asian business trips is the expense account; hostess bars are simply calculated into the cost of doing business (and by business, I also mean whatever nastiness was going on in the back room). But if it’s not on the corporate tab, nothing about the Korea House Lounge is cream cheese.