Barfly - Lost & Found
Big things come in small packages. You can't tell a book by its cover. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. These are all very wisdomy pearls, but not ones anyone particularly abides by – in fact, the any time people use them anymore is in retrospect. For example, "Well Ray, she was definitely hot, but now this damn rash won't go away. I guess you really can't judge a book by it's cover." But allow me to break tradition by telling you – beforehand – that if you go to Lost & Found and think it's a shithole, you shouldn't count your chickens before they hatch. Lost & Found has been sitting on the corner of Barrington and National for 38 years, and pretty much spits in the face of pandering to new patrons. Contemporary music? Nope. Dance floor? Nope. Beer on tap or energy drinks or decorations that don't look like they were purchased at a garage sale in the late 70s? No, no, and holy crap you should SEE the stuff they have hanging on their walls – it's like a time capsule!
But Lost & Found proves that big things come in small packages by offering huge pours and huge discounts, serving up wells for $3.75 all the time, while most bars don't even offer that level of alcoholic awesomeness during happy hour. Of course, this kind of pricing in this kind of town doesn't exactly bring out the best of Culver City's up-all-nighters. And that's kind of its appeal.
"The clientele's shit, but fuck it – it's a dive bar," said Brian, a regular with the kind of blunt honesty that cuts right to the chase and the kind of vernacular usually reserved for sailors. "It's full of scumbags. But it's four dollar drinks and I don't hafta deal with any assholes – except the bartender," he added with a laugh.
Said bartender's name was Steve, and he looked old enough to be rife with pearls of wisdom. Not that he would share them with you. Steve had the personality of wet sand, but I wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. His heavy-handed pours more than compensated for his gruff demeanor, and after just a little conversation, he turned out to be less of a grump than I originally assumed. I guess you can't judge – oh, you get it.
The bar caters to veterans from any era (Steve looked to be topping 60 and was one of the youngest guys in the joint) and promotes itself as a bar for locals with very little spare time and even less spare cash. With an outdated jukebox, a sparse bar, and only a single pool table to save it from being empty, Lost & Found keeps itself afloat by offering a no-frills dive bar experience with the cheapest drinks and most numerous smoking areas in West LA.
"It's fun. It's all fun," said Brian. "It's Lost & Found – and not often found." So there might be a little dust on the bottle, but don't let that fool you about what's inside. Ha! And you thought I was all idiomed out.