Lock & Key

I start my 2017 in a meeting.  At a bar.  In a room located at the top of a bank tower.  Mysteriously, a key from my key ring that was once there is not now. Vanishes somewhere between the building floors, the streets of Los Angeles, and a parking garage.  It is very hard for keys just to “fall off” my key chain.  No matter, the key is lost.  Hours later, I realize.  Events to follow are me on a ladder (I found said ladder a few years ago and just so happens to be the right height for my several story building windows) no shoes on, two stories up, almost hanging from a window ledge between my rental apartment building and a cement wall. It is well after midnight now.  I am afraid of some heights.  Me on a Clydesdale horse high enough. The only time I can sit to watch a basketball game is in the box (enclosed heights) or on the floor, courtside.  SO, on ladder a couple stories up takes some talking myself into for sure.  Mind over matter, I keep thinking. I have jumped out of a perfectly good plane for sport and one would think fear of certain heights cured.  Not so much.  I eventually, however, retain the services of locksmith somewhere before the 2:am hour after all the bar people that I know know how to pick this particular kind of lock confirm they are all conveniently out of the country? Researching locksmith schools near me while I wait, in my car, in my garage.  Signal is slow in my garage.  If it were better, the signal, and I could have found an online class to take that moment, I would have and already been inside already.  I seriously am beginning to think I should add locksmith school to my resume. As I continue to wait, I think back.  The last and one of the only few locks I have ever picked come to mind.  A bar. In college with an Irish kid. A liquor room. Thoughts interrupted by called locksmith company.  A very good looking blue eyed gent arrives.  The locksmith. He is young and very energetic. He also reminds me of a character on Peaky Blinders Netflix show. I haven’t had a television in years.  I watch Netflix.  I still don’t have on any shoes. “A deadbolt”, he says in an uncomplicated way.  Uh-huh.  A mallet.  A couple of “keys” inserted.  More like half keys.  I think bump keys is the term for the « half keys ».  Three taps with a mallet to a half key and then two whole keys a few more taps to the locked lock.  The final key mallet combo is the combo that provides entrance to my apartment, that and one hundred dollars.  I am inside.  I don’t even know why I lock my doors.

A few months later. A charity event. A production studio in Hollywood.  Don’t ask me how I knew.  Somehow, this night, I knew I would get a key. I also somehow knew I would lose my own key the few months before.  An intuitive thought to take a hand bag that has a spare key the night I lost my key. The key is in a new place now. Trust intuition.  Anyway, I say nothing to anyone about either thought until after the fact.  Sure enough, later that night at the charity event, under a cocktail napkin where a champagne flute rested moments before, I pick up a cocktail napkin to clear the bar.  A key. The gentleman standing there moments before left it.  He had just ordered five Grey Goose shots and a few glasses of champagne.  He never came back for the key. He never came back.  I still have it.  Could it be a key to a cellar of wine? Vault of gold (I have watched Italian Job too many times, yes, I know) or to an apartment? A gate?  A storage unit?  Who knows.  Maybe nothing. Conversations of keys and such and from what the mysterious key could open, still who knows what, turns to bar talk. Speak easies and the like.  And a particular bar is mentioned.  How could al this key talk not include a bar called–Lock & Key.  Korea town. I don’t know it.  A google search, gallery and menu review later–sold. They had me at fried chicken and biscuit sandwich! Open up the champagne.

The  only indication of it’s being there is the neon key hole next to a gent sitting on a bar stool. Behind the bus stop. Across the street from a supermarket shopping center. Around the corner from a gas station. I am a local Angeleno and think I can for sure find parking.  Hum..I circle the block a few times. No parking.  I also can’t seem to see the place.  I can’t find it. Secondly, did I mention, because the main Vermont street is proving parking is impossible. There is so much traffic. Today is Tuesday.  The one thing about Los Angeles, no matter what, there is always traffic. And not always a place to park.  Unless you valet.  They don’t seem to have valet either.  More traffic than usual at this 7:15pm time. Finally.  I park. I see the place and enter.  My ID is checked. I am flattered. The foyer has three walls. Only door knobs and handles. Turn the correct knob you will get inside. Third try I get it. Dark. Sexy. We are the first to arrive. Me and the person I am meeting.  I have come for the chicken and biscuit. Probably French fries too. All men staff (at least this evening, this moment). Music loud enough so that conversation in surrounding booths not audible.  Hearing the person next to me no problem.  Clever acoustics.

a wall in the foyer
third try I am in..
cucumber water and a Lillet Blanc
the menu and a marble table top

Absinthe at the bar?.. Latin Quarter, Paris, France style..?
the chicken and biscuits.. biscuits aren’t as I expect,.. cross between a burger bun and traditional South Carolina style..
French fries and cold slaw on the side..(usually on the little fried chicken slider..) I don’t eat mayo.. or the like..
These fries are piping hot and delicious! perfectly seasoned!

The outdoor patio very cool too!  Golf course turf and hanging outdoor string lights with tall round bar tables.. quite the contrast to the interior and yet makes perfect sense.  A couple of hours later, sadly, time to go!  if you have no other plans on a Tuesday, make your way to Koreatown’s Lock & Key. Super chill vibe.  Great drinks.  You will not be disappointed.  Oh and Uber.


Until Next Time…

I’ll concentrate on a different kind of lock and key.. keeping my apartment and car and sharing a lock with my love..

Love locks and my keys..

edited picture of a picture.. not the original.. the love locks, at least some in Paris, France..