Silver Lake is full of mop top-wearing scenesters unabashed with their adoration for anything indie-related. Perhaps this was caused by the groundswell of blogs and newspaper headlines declaring Silver Lake the new epicenter of everything that's “happenin'” in rock today.
Sure the effects pedals of the guitars should get respect, but give credit where credit is due. The necessary wherewithal to persevere and endure the intense nightly performances from our favorite bands comes from our desire to drink PBR – the cold, somewhat refreshing, always extremely cheap alcohol beverage also known as Pabst Blue Ribbon.
If you've seen someone wearing some sort of flannel, sitting in a dark corner in a Silver Lake drinking hole, they were probably holding a PBR. Even if you assume all Silver Lake drinking holes carry said beverage, know this: Cha Cha Lounge is one of the only establishments that can state proudly that their PBR is always in demand (on tap, no less) and for the cheap price of $1.50 during Happy Hour.
A Seattle original for eight years and counting, Cha Cha Lounge has become an L.A. mainstay since 2005. Cha Cha is one of the more popular bars in Silver Lake where the coffee is kept to the back, and the Pabst flows freely.
Formerly a Latino transvestite watering hole, the spirit of the Cha Cha's last incarnation still exists as a myriad of skeletons, gold-beaded sombreros and red carnations hang from the ceiling. By the time you're able to soak in the rest of the fun décor – like the straw-hut bar and the strings of red lights – you'll think that you've landed in an alternate universe where Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) has collided with The Swiss Family Robinson .
Rest assured, however, that you're back in reality once you see a girl with a red, micro mini-dress, complete with leggings, next to her boyfriend who's oblivious to the fact that he's wearing some sort of makeshift bandana. Don't even bother to do a double take once you see that the two are standing in line to take a photo next to a life-sized cutout of Willie Nelson. That's just another charm Cha Cha has to offer.
Once you get your drinks (some PBR perhaps?), you'll be able to enjoy the spaciousness of the bar, which comes complete with a few large back booths and tables adorned with tacky, though colorful, art that is synonymous with the surrounding décor. Party it up with any number of your friends, but keep in mind that in Silver Lake, hot zone 101, you never know who might breeze through.
Comedian David Cross of “Mr. Show” fame and everyone's favorite crooner/stripper Har Mar Superstar have been known to stop by. Even actor Jake Gyllenhaal has walked through the front door, which, by the way, sports a sign declaring: “If you are racist, sexist, homophobic or an asshole, do not come in.”
It's advice worth noting, but remember one thing: bring extra change. Like all neighborhood joints, the lounge comes equipped with a photo booth.
Not photogenic? Try your hand at the foosball tables, or even better, the vending machine that offers standards like candy, gum and cigarettes. And since you're in Silver Lake, and everyone is so “artsy,” buy a few buttons, CDs or even zines to go with your Snickers bar.
For more information, call (323) 660-7595 or visit www.chachalounge.com.