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Coach & Horses ~ 7617 W. Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90046 ~ (323) 876-6900

I still pray to Allah that the morning I woke up with a splitting hangover and two tampons shoved up my bleeding nostrils will remain my lowest point in life.

Over the years, through random accidents and unchecked aggression, I've been hit in the head with a brick, pint glass, alarm clock, a fist or five, and a baseball bat, among other solid objects that put a cataract in my left eye before I was 30. But I'd never lost a round of fisticuffs in my life until my second trip to Coach and Horses, one of my favorite bars in Hollywood. I was swollen with pride in those days, holding onto a long-standing record hovering above 20-0, with some pretty brutal competitions, including a four-on-one my no-account ex-girlfriend started, in which my New York neighborhood's crackfiends declared me the victor. When all is said and done, despite bruised pride and a broken bone, I couldn't think of a better place to get my ass kicked than Coach and Horses.

Loud, dark, and British-bent, Ye Olde Coach and Horses usually has some eye-pleasing punky patrons, porn-star bartenders, and plenty of hard rock turned up to the gills. I could picture Motley Crue shooting up Jack and destroying the place to the amusement of badly-permed, mulleted groupies in the back, so thick it is with that Sunset rocker vibe of yore. Anyone who's been reading TACO for a while might recall my love of hot Indian curry pots, and C&H even connects to an Indian restaurant so you can munch mediocre saag paneer in the bar over a beer.


I had only been back in Southern California for a few days after leaving my hole-of-shite L.E.S. apartment. An ol' and beautiful friend took me under her little wing, and we went to the opening of the now defunct sushi disco, Rika, on Sunset. At openings like this, they always make you drink some shit you'd never touch if it weren't free, and in this case all I remember was the stuff was hyper-green and tasted a lot like like Dimetap. But I drank a lot of it...


It was also extremely potent, as we both got beyond trashed and spent the whole night reasoning with one of my heroes, Lemmy Kilmeister of Motorhead. Despite a two-hour conversation full of laughs, I did not comprehend a fucking word the guy said in his thick Northern Welsh accent. I think we were talking about leather boots the whole time. In any case, Lemmy rules.

Stumbling from the spot, I felt the need to call it a night, capping off the fun in a short smooch with some unknown skank (not using the term lightly) on the escalator to the parking lot. Unfortunately, I was re-routed Ye Coach's way for a nightcap so my friend could meet up with her man, and for me to meet up with some dude's wicked right.

Now, 'tis true I got it in me to hate, but I rarely start shit with anyone when there's no need. What came next is a bit of a blur. We sat at a table with three dudes I never met before and my friend disappeared, quickly making me really bored. I remember thinking the blokes were a bunch of bloody wankers (to use Coach & Horses talk) for some reason, so I started knocking everyone's empty bottles over on the table to much protest. I might have talked a lot shit at this point too...who knows?

Next I remember this one dude got up to leave, and I tripped him. We squared off and maybe he recognized I was too shit-canned or something cuz he turned his back to leave the bar when I sucker-rabbit-punched him in the dome. He turned around and I hit him again in the mouth, which is where a lot of my drunken punches seem to land when I'm really trying to push in the soft nose cartilage and bone back into the nasal passages. Punching under the influence! AHAHAHAHA!

At this point, we were separated and I remember a brief moment of clarity in which I thought, "Hey dumbshit, you can barely stand, get the fuck out of here before you get your shit stomped." I ducked into the Indian restaurant and stood in the threshold a few feet from the bar to let things cool off. But being all loads, five seconds later seemed an eternity, and I approached Coach and Horses again, where lo-and-behold there stood the dude, steaming with his buddies. I forget what exactly went down, I might have said some stupid shit about not fucking with me cuz I'm a black-belt human-weapon ninja Spartan mutherfucker, who knows? It just seemed I was surrounded by people who wanted to hurt me.

Next thing I knew, I was wheeling myself back into the bar, blood pouring from my nose, all onto my shirt and hands. "The red-red vino on tap and the same in all places, like it's put out by the same big firm." I was staggering and laughing when my sweet, concerned friend, as well as most everyone else in the bar, looked at me with disgust or pity, or maybe unholy lust as it's that kind of crowd some nights.

Next morning was slightly less funny when I awoke with a busted beak, a black, cut, and swollen eye, plus two O.B.s jammed up my schnozz. Worse, I had work in about an hour, and I was an hour away. I scribbled a note to my friend and hit the road, where it was pouring rain.

Straightening things out at the office, I found a medical-type to stitch me up, also far away, with the deadline that I had to be there by 10AM. I could not see at all in one eye, my nose constantly dripped blood, there was a gash above my eyebrow, the rain was so intense I could not see much, and I had to go about 85 to get there. Oh, and I was still kind of drunk. And my melon hurt. But it was also kind of funny the way any morning after seems when you drink hard.

I got stitched up in two places, left the nose alone, and the bill was still whopping. After initially looking for a sober rematch with dude, I came to my senses, was reminded of what an utter asshole I'd been, and actually found a way to apologize.

I have been back to C&H many times since and will continue to until it lay in it's re-fangled condominium grave. Coach and Horses is typically rocking pretty hard, and when it's not crowded, its dark space and loud tunes make for a fun, friendly take-over spot. You should go check it out...and behave!

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