Spaulding Bogosian

Not as political as the Other A-Holes, but yet the kind of Funny Meanderings of a Jersey Guy

Monday, November 21, 2005

Restaurant Review

I applied for a reviewer position at "" or something like that. Anyway, I was denied. They said I was denied for two reasons. The first being that I only had 4 articles on my site, so they couldn’t get a sense of my writing, this has inspired me to write more. The second reason was, I wouldn’t write a sample review. I guess I just find it hard to make up a review. I want to be prolific, I do, but not at the expense of caring about the content. This has inspired me to review something. So I am going to review a restaurant.
Last year I celebrated my fortieth birthday. My wife was kind enough to throw me a surprise party and a ton of friends came. I got some great presents. A couple of my friends even chipped in and bought me an IPod. One of the gifts I received was two hundred dollars in coupons to spend at a restaurant called, “Lucky Chengs” in NYC. The coupons were in serious danger of expiring at the end of this year so we needed to use them. “Lucky Chengs” resides just outside an area of NYC called Alphabet City (Alphabet City gets its name because the streets are lettered A, B, C, instead of numbered). It is located around 1st ave. and 1st st. Although I used to party a lot down in that section of town, I never heard of the place, but it is a very appropriate location for this type of restaurant. I had been to The Pyramid Club, a bar around the corner, which unlike everything else in Alphabet City from the early nineties, still exists. The draw of the Pyramid Club was that transvestites would dance around, flirt, dance on the bar like some nightmare version of Coyote Ugly, and in general make the heterosexual cliental slightly uncomfortable. This is similar to the draw of “Lucky Chengs”.
As its name might imply Lucky Cheng’s is a Chinese restaurant, that just happens to be populated by garishly dressed transvestites. Although they offer a few dishes that could be classified as Thai, so if you go for dinner there, it’s sort of like a Pacific Rim job. The place has an overall feel of being inside a circus tent. Orange and red decore, and vinyl bench seating with springs that remind you you may not be homosexual. The food is adequate, served on square white plates with a decent amount of presentation. I enjoyed my hunk of sirloin over vegetables, but after the 4 Kettle One and cranberries I might have enjoyed anything. I would rank the food as a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. If you want really good Chinese food, take your butt just a few more blocks south to Canal Street and experience China Town. But from what I can tell people don’t dine here for the food. This place is one giant bachelorette party, complete with wall to wall transvestites. And it is pretty giant, I got lost downstairs while looking for my wife who was getting a Tarot reading from “Kyler the Improbable”. There just seemed to be room after room of little private parties, I was a little fearful of the bathroom for that reason. I finally did find my wife, who was getting her reading. Now, I’m no expert on the paranormal, I think there are probably people out there who have a genetic disposition to having visions and getting a vibe off you, but those people are rare. So if I’m skeptical of whether or not a guy, who works out of the basement of a drag queen restaurant, wearing a Disney wizard hat and a cape, has “The Gift”, well all I can say is, sorry Kyler, tricks are for kids. I would never participate in a tarot reading for two reasons; one, no one really believes that crap anyway, so if it’s good news you won’t believe it either, and two; god forbid its bad news, then what, your all stressed. What’s the point? Well, Kyler must have sensed I was a skeptic because he shooed me away rather rudely proclaiming, “This is a private reading, bye, bye now.” Whatever, we’re there to have fun… right? If my wife wants to blow thirty bucks, listening to Kyler tell her that “…there’s a lot of confusion around that decision,” have fun.
And there was a bunch of other ways to blow money aside from eating and drinking. I have to give a special nod to the balloon artist. This guy was maybe the best balloon artist in the world. That said, I wouldn’t pay for the privilege of wearing a giant ejaculating penis on my head. Although, it was interesting to have the phrase, “Turn this way so I can see your vagina,” be acceptable in public. In addition, there was a wandering masseuse, who looked like he could really end up hurting someone. But the big draw is the trannies. The place offers a floor show, which is why all the bachelorettes flock there. The main talent is a Chinese guy/gal who talks really fast, and sings songs like “Endless Love” in a combination falsetto baritone. Interspersed through out is what can only be likened to the chaos of a Japanese television show. There are platforms where the transvestite “Performers?”, will take highly embarrassed patrons, and proceed to perform very graphic lap dances on them. The men submit to things such as headstands in their laps and leg locks around their heads. All the while their signifcant others, are turning blue laughing at the misfortune of having their heads pushed into the crotch of a two hundred pound he/she wearing lingerie. The women suffer a more intrusive fate as they are lifted into a headstand and have their crotches stroked. Oddly enough though, they aren’t half as embarrassed as the men. You could run a roller coaster around all the gender bending that is taking place. When we arrived, I was under the impression that although I am what would be considered a “Regular Guy” I would find this entertaining. But I must admit, I was slightly uncomfortable with heavily made-up men bearing large breasts, rubbing my back and fondling my bald spot. I threatened my wife with a fork if she volunteered me for any part in the show. Drinking definitely helps though, and by the time the shot “girl” came around I was buzzed enough to go with the flow. It sort of wins you over, like going to see “La Cage aux Folles” only raunchy. This place bills itself as a place to shock your friends from Desmoines, and in that regard they will not disappoint. It’s not overpriced, dinner for six was about three hundred, gratuity included, and we drank like fish. And though we were tempted to stick around for dessert, they don’t serve coffee. So I recommend going up the street to Venerio’s on 2nd ave. and 12th street. If you are a died in the wool homophobic conservative, or maybe just out with your in-laws, than this is not the place for you. But if you planning a bachelorette party, or out with a group, (the group must include girls, this is not the place for a bunch of straight guys) than you should have a good time. You might even get lucky, one guy had an entire bachelorette party take turns giving him lap dances, but I wouldn’t bank on that happening.

To find out more about Lucky Cheng’s go to

Labels: , ,