This Week’s L.A. Happenings: Circa, Unlimited Wine, Nick Cave

WEDNESDAY: Circa Opens In Manhattan Beach
Expect trips to Manhattan Beach now on the regular. An all-star team is behind a new restaurant project opening Wednesday: Circa. Michael Zislis (The Strand) has Octavio Becerra (Palate Food & Wine) in the kitchen, Josh Goldman (ink.) curating the wine list and Julian Cox (Playa, Riviera, Sotto, Bestia) crafting cocktails behind the bar. You likely don’t visit Manhattan Beach as much as you should and Circa is just two blocks from the shore, so make that two birds, one stone thing happen. Expect small plates of global flavors, casual, vintage-industrial design and perhaps a cigarette break to watch the sunset.

Circa (903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan beach) opens and is now accepting reservations. For more information on the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

THURSDAY: Unlimited Wine at Mondrian
Tonight kicks off the inaugural, bi-weekly “Uncorked” wine tasting in Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian. It’s a happy hour with an outdoor pool. Seriously… why the hell not?  A nice selection of wines (unlimited pouring FYI) and bites at sunset are a crowd pleaser.

“Uncorked” is happening every second Thursday (starting 2/21) from 6pm to 9pm at Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian (8440 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood). For more information on the restaurant, visit the listing at BlackBook Guides.

THURSDAY:  Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
If you haven’t listened to the new album we recently streamed, you need to understand who we’re dealing with here. Nick Cave is a singer, novelist, actor, screenwriter, film composer, and all-around legend. We think he’ll be the next Pope. For now, see him live at The Fonda Theatre and scratch it off your bucket list.

Listen to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ new album here. To learn more about The Fonda Theatre (6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood ), visit the listing at BlackBook Guides.

Find out first about the latest openings and events in NYC by signing up for BlackBook Happenings, the email brought right to your inbox every Monday. And download the BlackBook City Guides app for iPhone and Android.

NYC vs LA: The Thompson Concierges

Keeping up with what’s new and trendy as well as checking in with old favorites is the balancing act that is the job of a hotel concierge—after all, the buzziest restaurant in town may mean a long wait and lousy service, which translates to unhappy customers who would have been happier with a tried-and-true standby that still offers them a taste of the city. We went bicoastal find out what the pros at the Thompson Hotel Group are recommending these days. This is what Kelsey Wilson, a lead concierge at the Thompson Beverly Hills in LA, and Paul Salvatore Petersen, head concierge at 60 Thompson in NYC, had to say:

Favorite bar for cocktails?

LA: My favorite bar for cocktails would have to be SUR Lounge.  SUR has a separate lounge/bar area attached to the famous SUR Restaurant, located in the heart of West Hollywood.  The feel is trendy, sexy and elite, and the décor is absolutely stunning, as is the clientele.  

NYC: I love Death & Company in the Lower East Side. More and more bars are popping up where the cocktails have been elevated to an art form. Death & Company was one of the first places in NYC where these mixologists brought elegance and craftsmanship back to the cocktail. Not to mention how cool it is inside!

 What’s the best dish you’ve had this year?

LA: As I can think of several, I would have to say my absolute favorite dish has been the Miso Cured Alaskan Butterfish at Asia de Cuba.  The dish features Cuban black beans, edamame salad and tempura shishito peppers. I have had some amazing food but this was on a whole new level of delicious!  The plate was colorful, had amazing texture and totally surprised my palate.

NYC: I am going to say it was the Braised Lamb Shank at La Promenade de Anglais. It’s a new restaurant in Chelsea that is a great mixture of European cuisines, popular with the gallery crowd.  Their Lamb Shank, braised perfectly and placed in a bed of their amazing Polenta, makes this Italian-American a very happy person!

What’s the toughest door in town right now—and how can I get past it?

LA: The toughest door is Los Angeles is at Sayers Club, right in the middle of all the Hollywood action. Sayers is ultra-new, ultra-exclusive and ultra-glamorous—don’t be surprised when you see celebrities here. Table reservations are always a good idea to guarantee entry and at Sayers, it is well worth it!  

NYC: Formerly The Boom Boom Room, and now called Top of The Standard. Even the guests of the Standard are typically turned away. Best way to get in is to go early. I can reserve you a table up until 10PM, but after 10PM it’s doorman’s discretion. It’s not 100% impossible to get in after that, but if you don’t know the owners, you better be dressed well and be nice to the doorman!

Where’s the best boutique to pick up a last-minute gift?

LA: If you need a last minute gift, definitely check out The Lemon Tree Bungalow in West Hollywood.  It has a lot of different gift options and is very well balanced whether you are looking for a housewarming gift, a holiday gift, or something bigger like an anniversary gift. The very friendly staff is helpful and also great at recommending the perfect item!  

NYC: It’s definitely MXYPLYZYK in the West Village. For years I have been going there for all sorts of gifts. They have fun and unique items for every room in your house or apartment. They also have books, kids toys, and even fish bowls made to hang on your wall. MXYPLYZYK really has a little bit of everything. Best part is it’s all affordable!

What’s your personal favorite room in the hotel, and why?

LA: This is easy, my favorite room in the hotel is the lobby! This isn’t just the obvious answer because I spend so much time here, but because I love the modern furniture and trendy feel.  We also just opened a brand-new restaurant that is connected to our lobby, Caulfield’s. It is a beautiful space with large windows that add some great natural light to complete the welcoming feel that any lobby should have.

NYC: Well the Penthouse of course! And if you have to ask why, then you need to come here and check it out. Call me and I’ll give you a tour.

Why Fight City Hall (When You Can Welcome it Instead?)

At first impression, City Hall is the kinda joint Chicago and New York must’ve been chock-a-block with back in the first half of the 20th century. In fact you half expect to see some Ward politicians or Tammany Hall operatives making deals in one of its back booths. Sure the design is primarily Deco, but it’s more evocative of the Chicago Board of Trade or the Chrysler Building than it is the candy-colored hues of South Beach. In other words, the place feels as if it’s already been around a good while, and that it’ll be around a good while still.

Part of the wine-and-dine’s wheeling-and-dealing vibe is helped out by having owner Steve Haas in house to do all the glad-handing. Haas, who boasts eleven years at both The Forge and China Grill Management, knows well the importance of being there. And from what he told me at lunch last Friday, he plans on being there every single day that it’s open. Since City Hall is open every single day, that’s a whole lotta being on hand indeed.

Unlike its municipal counterparts, this City Hall is one you’d rather welcome than fight. As mentioned, the setting evokes a heyday made of snap brims and bespoke suits, fast chatter and even faster friends, nefarious and otherwise. An era when the dealings may have been shady and the intrigue might have cast shadows, but the jobs got done regardless.

According to the ever-sporting artist Andrew Reid, whose (to me) Thomas Hart Benton-esque light box mural spans much of City Hall’s main wall, that can-do feel is no accident. Haas apparently got city hall to green light his restaurant in record time. And he built it up and opened its doors even quicker. In this day of procrastination and delay, obstacles and excuses, that in itself is something worth applauding.

Of course having already cut such a stellar swath through the food biz gave Haas a, er, fork up on the competition. Yet one senses that finally getting out on his very own gave him even more incentive. That Haas chose to do what he does best just north of Downtown (what I call NoDo), on the south end of the Biscayne Corridor, shows he hasn’t lost his knack for location either, nor any of his prescience. Remember the China Grill group includes Asia de Cuba, which has outposts in some of the hottest spots on earth. And while Haas will be the first to admit the group begins and ends with Jeffrey Chodorow, one can’t help thinkin’ that Steve’s stint as China Grill‘s GM didn’t also factor into the equation.

If working with a wonder like Chodorow did teach Haas a thing or three, one of those lessons undoubtedly emphasized how bright is was to work with a wonder. In City Hall’s case, that means Chef Tom Azar, who stinted in New Orleans, Orlando and Miami with none other than Emeril Lagasse. Here though Azar eschews the “Bam!” of his former employer (thank Zeus), and instead let’s his menu do the shouting.

As Miami New Times noted, City Hall’s “[d]ishes run the gamut from Latin-inspired sea scallops from Maine served with jalapeno emulsion and black bean and sweet corn salsa to a timpano de maccheron; a hearty meatball-filled pasta dome authentic to the Neapolitan region of Italy. Diners will also find familiar old-school entrees like country-style meatloaf, oyster po’boy sandwich, and wood-burning oven pizzas.” What my colleagues across town couldn’t mention in their preview, however, was that each dish is as scrumptious as the last — and the next.

To have a hangout that is both a throwback to our better tradition and a boon to the right now surely bodes well for Miami’s culinary future, not to mention to the future of the city as a whole. With the Arsht Center, Villa 221 and the Triple A all within walking distance, it also bodes well for a neighborhood just beginning to come into its own. More importantly perhaps, City Hall is now fully representative of the people. Well, at least one of ’em is anyway.


Photography by Manny Hernandez.

DineLA Starts Today

Los Angeles Restaurant Week starts again today, running through Friday and then again from October 11-16. Meaning you can get the special menus every day but Saturday. Over 250 restaurants have signed up, so there are plenty of deals to be had at some of the hottest restaurants around. Participating restaurants offer three course meals for lunch and dinner at a fixed price ranging from $16 to $44. Drinks, taxes and gratuity are not included. Go ahead and browse the hot list of who’s in and what’s for dinner here. Highlights include Asian spiced pork ribs and Mexican donuts at Asia de Cuba, chile rubbed mahi mahi and goat milk cajeta flan at Ciudad, and sirloin steak with honey poached Seckel pears at Nick & Stef’s.

This is the second helping of Restaurant Week this year for Los Angeles, and it’s a great opportunity to check out some places you’ve never been before. The more popular restaurants fill up fast, so it’s best to make a reservation, which you can do on the DineLA site, or by contacting the restaurants directly.

Eat (Like) the Rich at Asia De Cuba

Strange thing about L.A. That very New York phenomenon known as “Summer Fridays” doesn’t really exist here. Perhaps that’s because we don’t have to race out of our offices to get to paradise, because well, we already live there. (I’d add neener, neener, neener, but that seems a bit cruel.) Still, Asia de Cuba has a Friday-night special that tips its hat to the same concept: “Out of Office Fridays.” From 1-4 pm, the fancy schmancy restaurant in the Mondrian is offering a $5 food menu, with $5 cocktails and $5 valet. This is a deal at any bar — even more so at a place where the average appetizer is $28, and the entrees run as high as $76. Perhaps the temporary special is a tacit admission that even rich people are hurting from this recession too, poor dears.

What’s on offer is nothing to sneeze at: specialty cocktails include mojitos and caipirinhas. Apps include everything from simple fried Spanish olives to the more complex tuna pica and bigeye tuna tataki. They aren’t scrimping for this happy hour: Kobe beef sliders for $5? Roast duck confit for $5? It’s such a good deal, you’ll want to order all of it. The one catch? You need to provide a business card for entree.

The restaurant also has another happy hour, dubbed “Recess Is On,” in their ADCB Lounge downstairs in the lobby, with selections of sushi and tapas from 5-7 daily.

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JetBlue’s “More to Love Sweepstakes”

JetBlue has launched a great contest for all the foodies out there. Basically they’re going to pay for your dinner, but it’s a whole lot sexier than that since they’re teaming up with Restaurant Week in New York and sending you out for a night on the town.

For those who don’t know, Restaurant Week is a food bonanza that happens twice a year in Manhattan where normally pricy restaurants offer fixed menus at ridiculously low prices, like $35 per person for dinner at Asia de Cuba, which would include items like Pan Seared Ahi Tuna and Cuban BBQ Chicken topped off with a homemade Sorbet of the Day. If you want to know before you go you can check the full list of participating restaurants and their corresponding menus here. To get in on the fun JetBlue is hosting a “More to Love” sweepstakes, which is one of those enter to win guys, where the prize is a trip for two to NYC. The total prize includes airfare (you won’t get this if you happen to actually already live in the city), two nights at a hotel (either the Ace Hotel or the Hilton), two paid-for dinners at the famous Nobu and Del Posto restaurants, and for dessert, and if that wasn’t enough, they are throwing in a $500 AMEX gift card to boot. So this is a great contest, and a fun weekend for whoever wins, but enter soon because Restaurant Week starts July 12, running through the 31st. Oh, and FYI, for those of you who are new to the Restaurant Week game, expect long waits and big obnoxious crowds. Other than that, enjoy! Enter to win here.

New York: Holly GoNightly’s Top 5 Tastes of Summer

Usually when summer rolls around, I find myself eating less as tiny string bikinis and Hampton-thin bodies dance in my head. But last night at the Taste of Summer — a benefit for the Central Park Conservatory — I had a taste of what my summer will be, and this summer will be delicious. Roughly a thousand foodies and Central Park enthusiasts banded together at the Naumburg Bandshell to kick off summer in the New York, a city that takes pride in her beautiful, distinctive park and the significant culture that talented chefs and colorful restaurants bring to her table. There was no actual table — I’m using a metaphor unless you were a VIP ticket holder and had the pleasure of sitting in the cafe area hosted by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality group — but there was food, glorious food. The event was held al fresco in a tent that happily shielded party goers, the silent auction goodies, and over 40 renowned chefs from the drizzly evening weather. I could name-drop the UES socials caught fork-in-mouth, but the star of the event was without a doubt the food. Here, my own top five picks of the evening’s pleasurable nibbles from places I wouldn’t normally think to venture to.

Asia de Cuba (Murray Hill) – Their nibble was a Thai-style short rib that was long on flavor. Sweet, fall off the bone flavor. My guest couldn’t/wouldn’t stop at one. The menu is Cuban-Chinese (okay, Asian), with oxtail spring rolls, honey rum roast pork, and Thai beef salad that bursts in creative, artful presentations. The Murray Hill address has kept me from venturing to the Philippe Starck-designed communal table, but this small taste was enough for me to make a reservation.

South Gate (Midtown West) – This address is up there, ya know? It’s a lot to ask a downtown girl to flit around the island of Manhattan for a dinner reservation, especially when there’s champagne to be drunk below 14th Street. But their beautifully prepared ravioli dish melted in my mouth and subsequently melted my old ways. The charming Kerry Heffernan — executive chef here — told me of their Greenmarket-driven menu, and while the prices are power-suit clientele are a little rich, I’m banking on the fact that their roasted lobster is worth it.

Mañana (Upper East Side) – The Madison Avenue location and Serafina proximity guaranteeing lots of Hermes-sportin’ younguns dropping daddy’s Amex was always an off-putting prospect, but that little ceviche tostada will have me scrambling to borrow a Birkin in no time. Apparently, they are also known for their endless creatively constructed margaritas, which is also fine by me.

The Carlyle (Upper East Side) – The moment I set foot into the huge tent, I was on the hunt for scallops. I could smell them the entire night, and not in a fishy way. When I finally found them, it was utter heaven. Extra large, buttery, not very salty or gritty for their enormous size, and lightly seasoned.

Montenapo (Midtown West )- Milanese Italian in New York Times lobby brought out a risotto — a fava bean delight topped off with a summer truffle. This, along with the veal-chicken ravioli, was my personal favorite of the night. And I will happily be going to the New York Times building location for more seasonal selections.

Industry Insiders: Eddie Dean, Pacha Honcho

The owner of the flagship Pacha in New York on international clientele, the rough lifestyle required for nightlife connoisseurs, and flushing out the phonies.

When you’re not partying at Pacha, where are you? I always find myself at Sushi Samba on Seventh Avenue. I love the outdoor roof. It’s a great place to entertain. I’m forever hosting people from South America and Spain there. They treat us well, and the food and the vibe is great. Asia de Cuba has great service, great food, and a great energy. I like Henry’s End in Brooklyn at the end of Henry Street. The owners are real wine connoisseurs … they search the globe and feature five reds that are unique. Just had a great meal at Dovetail, another great spot.

How did you end up here? I knew I wanted to have my own business, but I didn’t know it would be a nightclub. The opportunity presented itself. We put together a business plan to open this little bar in Bay Ridge, and then we owned about 15 places. It’s a lot of late hours, a lot of grueling work, but it’s what I do. I have moments when I’m tired and want to do something different — and then I realize that I love the people, the experience of making people happy, of employees doing well. We’re the biggest nightclub in New York, and everybody’s trying to take us out, so you need a strong constitution to come in every day and keep on fighting. It’s an exhausting battle. I was 24 when I opened my first place, and 28 when I opened another couple of places. People sometimes ask me my secret: I think long term and don’t take short cuts.

Who do you admire in the hospitality industry? The first thing I think of is longevity, not the flashy guys who are in for six months. I think of Jeffrey Chodorow and Steve Hanson. They’re successful with different restaurants with different menus in different neighborhoods. Promoters who have been successful owners include Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss from Marquee and Mark Packer of Tao. And then there are people who get into this business for the wrong reasons and muck things up.

What’s a positive trend you’ve noticed in nightclubs? I think what’s going on now is economical. The economy is going to separate the men from the boys. Over the past couple of years, people have become so money-driven that they don’t care about quality, just about how much they’re going to make before they produce anything. So, as tough as the economy is, it will flush out the phonies. The strong will survive. It will bring the quality up because there will be more good people working in fewer places. We’re making adjustments here, but we’ve buckled up and made some tough decisions. We have a viable product — a world-class nightclub — and DJs around the world want to play in a successful place more than ever.

And negative things? We don’t have enough unity in nightlife. Some people feel that it would compromise relationships, and others feel it’s getting too close to the competition. There’s too much at stake not to unify. We would get a unified voice to get the positive things that we contribute to the city to overcome the negative image. People are quick to report negativity. If there’s an arrest, if there’s a problem somewhere, it gets reported — and it’s really not fair, it’s a one-sided story.

What do you love about your joint? There’s nothing better than to be here on a Friday or Saturday night to hear the accents from around the world. More than half of the people here on New Year’s Eve were from Europe and South America. They came to celebrate at Pacha . That’s the greatest compliment of all. My doorman speaks four different languages, just to accommodate the questions from people who don’t speak English.

What is something that people might not know about you? I’m obsessed with sports. I’m a big Mets fan, but if Derek Jeter was in the club, I’d love it — he doesn’t take short cuts either. I could watch sports day and night. I watch ESPN six nights in a row. I love college sports, but right now none of my teams have had the best year. But I’m a fan, so I’m eternally optimistic. Ballplayers will come in here, and I’ll be introduced to them. I’ll tell them about their careers because I’m a statistics nut, and sometimes it spooks them.

What’s on the horizon? I’ve had several places over the years, but Pacha is a full-time project, and anything going forward will be more and more Pacha stuff to expand the brand throughout North America. The economy means we’re proceeding with caution. I take it very seriously. It’s a big responsibility, and we’re doing everything we can to keep from laying off people.

Where Strippers Go for Fun in New York

Everyone’s got an office. For Mario Batali, it’s the kitchen; for LeBron James, the court. And for BlackBook staffers, it’s an actual office. But for the girls who work at Rick’s Cabaret and Steakhouse, the office is something entirely different. It’s the stage-to-ceiling brass pole, or the giddy lap of an Asian salaryman. But when daily tasks include gyrating your hips to a T-Pain banger or sipping bubbly with VIPs in the champagne room, what space does that leave for a regular nightlife? Last week, after a long day at our office (be sure to check out the raw source material), we decided to visit theirs to fulfill our journalistic duty by asking them the essential question: Where do you like to go out in New York?

Ashton, age unknown Where are you from? Moscow. Where do you like to go out in New York? Usually I like to go to Pacha. How long have you been in New York? Two years. And do you and the girls go out after work? No, after work I’m so tired. I just want to sleep. Do any of your customers ever invite you to go out with them after work? Never. It’s like my rule. I never give my number.

Suzy, age unknown Where do you go out in New York? I like to go downtown a lot. If I’m just chilling out, I usually go down on the Lower East Side. Like, to Niagara and 7B. Or, if I want to go out — I know a bunch of, like, promoter friends — I go to The Box. Or, I live really close to Apothéke. Do you and the other girls from work ever go out after a shift? I’ve gone out with some of the girls. After a shift, there’s not that much open — like, as far as alcohol. So, we’ll go out to like, the next block and do karaoke. Or we’ll go to like, Noribong, or go out to eat. And what restaurants do you like to go to? I don’t know. I like to go to a whole bunch of restaurants. I love eating. Everywhere. Have you ever given a lap dance to anyone famous? Not in the sense like, in the media. Because they always like to bring them to someplace private, and so they usually bring girls who are like, you know, typical stripper, with huge implants. You know, like, in your face. And me, I’m not like that. I’m like the pseudo-stripper. Can we take a picture of you? No.

Becky, 24 And how long have you been working at Rick’s? Two years. Do you like to get drunk? Ha ha, I love to get drunk! Okay. And you love to get drunk? Yes, I love to get drunk. How many nights a week would you say you drink? Probably 6 days, or 7? I drink too much. Do you drink at work? Yes, all the time. For free? Yea, most of the time. And do you go out afterwards? No, I usually go right home. I’m not big on going out after work. Sometime I go to Niagara or Ace Bar. It’s an amazing place. You’ve got the Skee-Ball. You’ve got all kind of games. It’s a real laid-back, chill kind of place, you know? Do you ever stay in? Hardly anymore, no. What restaurants do you like? I love Stanton Social. I like La Zarza. What about clubs? I’m not a club girl. I’ll go to like, Buddha Bar. But I’m not into the club thing. Everybody’s all coked up. You can’t talk, you know what I mean? I’m kind of more like, Little Branch, PDT, Mason Dixon. What’s your favorite cocktail? Stoli O, on the rocks. No hangover. I take it all night.

Shaleen, 19 Where do you go out? I don’t. Why not? Because I’m a hard-working mother. I work and I go home. Do you ever go out to restaurants? I went about 2 weeks ago to Asia de Cuba. I heard it was really good food, and it was. It was wonderful. How long have you been living in New York? I’ve been living in New York my whole life. So where did you go out before you were a hard-working mother? Well, that was when I was a teenager. I was just going to teen parties. And how many nights a week do you work at Rick’s? Usually 3-4 days a week. And do you drink when you work? I do not. Not at all. Have you been out in the last month? I went out once to the Cellar Bar in the Bryant Park Hotel. And do you ever pay for your own drinks? It’s rare. Do you get hit on a lot? I mean, I get hit on. It’s to the point where most men that are with their girlfriends look like they want to be with me.

Dior, 20 How long have you been working at Rick’s? Only like, 2 months. How long have you been living in New York? I was here about a year and half ago, before I left for Miami. And now I’m back for good. Where do you like to party in New York? I’m boring. I Like loungey spots. So, I haven’t found anything in New York, yet. I’ve been to Mansion once (now called M2). Mansion is fun. Like, when you want to just get all the party out of your system — go to Mansion. And I go to a lot of restaurants like Wolfgang’s Steakhouse up the street. Do you ever have to pay for your own drinks? I don’t ever pay for my own drinks. I refuse. How many nights a week do you go out after work with the other girls? Being at work is kind of like going out. Plus I’m new here, and I keep my co-workers at a certain boundary. So all the friends I have are all quote unquote “normal.” Do your parents know you’re a stripper? Technically, no. What do they think you do? They just think I work in a bar. They probably know I’m a stripper … it’s just a conversation we choose not to have. .

Saki, 25 Where do you go out in New York? Besides here, I love going to the Meatpacking District. Spice Market, Hotel Gansevoort. I’m not that exclusive, so I don’t really go anywhere that’s secretive. I’m not that VIP. Do you want to be? Yes, I do. Why do you like Hotel Gansevoort? Because it’s relaxing. There’s places to sit. It’s more like a lounge, and not so much a discotheque. I can’t stand clubs. Why not? Because it’s a huge exercise in futility. There’s a lot of sweat, and there’ s a lot of people who just get drunk, or get stoned. And it’s not that interesting to me. Do you ever go out after work? Oh, I’m here until 4 in the morning. I told you, I’m not that exclusive, so I don’t go to any after-hours hang-out spots. When you go out, do guys pay for everything? Not really. I have to buy everything. I’d rather not be bothered. If I got out and a guy tries to talk to me, and if I’m really not interested — I don’t want anything to do with him, like not even free drinks. Because I just don’t want him to follow me around. Are you friends with any of the strippers here? I’m friends with Suzy. I think you talked to her, earlier? How long have you been at Rick’s? Oh, since the day I started. Like, 6 months ago. Do you get drunk at work? Not really. You develop a huge alcohol tolerance here.

Gaby, 20< Where do you go out in New York? I don’t go out, especially when it is too cold. And I use my computer a lot. I play poker and Facebook all the time. So I’m more of a house person. All of my friends are promoters. They’re always inviting me to Marquee, Johnny Utah’s, 49 Grove, Tenjune. So why don’t you go? Because when it’s a promoter, it’s like a bunch of girls, and maybe 1 or 2 guys. Because they’re promoting tables. If there were more guys, I would go. But I mean, come on. Do you like to get drunk? I have never been drunk in my life. I have had like one or two drinks, and they got me. But not like, drunk. I’m always sober. I just go to flirt. And dance with the guys How long have you been working at Rick’s? Like, a year. How long have you been in New York? 6 years. Do you ever tell guys you meet that you’re a stripper? No … unless they are my boyfriend, I don’t have to say shit.

Patricia, 27 Where do you go out in New York? Just here. You don’t go out anywhere else? Just at Rick’s. You don’t go out to clubs? Or bars? Restaurants? Nope. How many nights a week do you work here? Five. 5 nights a week. So the other 2 nights you stay home? Well, no. These nights I’m in the spa. I stay all day long in the spa. Sometimes I go out with my friend to eat some Brazilian food. Are you Brazilian? Yes. How long have you been in New York? One year and one month. How long have you been at Rick’s? One year. Do you like to drink? Nope. I like to bring very hot men in the champagne room. I like champagne, I like strawberries. But he would have to be very hot. What do you do in the champagne room? It depends. If the guy’s very hot, I’ll have some champagne and some strawberries and cream. So, if they’re hot, you’ll bring them into the champagne room? Yes. Very hot and fun. And rich? That’s necessary. But if they are hot, and they are fun — But there’s no sex in the champagne room, right? No sex. But we have a great time.