Whiskey Tango: For the "Good" White Trash
We walked in to Whiskey Tango All American Bar and Grill (1903 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood; 954-925-2555; whiskeytangofl.com) to the sounds of an atrocious cover band playing "Summer of '69" and grabbed a high table since all the booths were packed full of dudes in Ed Hardy shirts.
The place reeked of new-ness and carefully arranged décor--it had brick walls, lush, black-leather booths, immaculate tables, TVs, pool tables and dart boards, and sarcastic little signs ("This is a no bitching zone" and "Water on road during rain"). Two bars: One was modest-sized with TVs hanging overhead; the other was situated directly in front of the fuchsia-soaked stage.
A short man with dark hair saw me writing and wondered if I was penning a novel.
I answered his question and asked him how he liked the bar. He told me it was new--just a couple of months old, and that he came here often. He knew the bartender and could occasionally convince him to do tricks. He also seemed ecstatic just to be talking to me.
"Do you know what 'whiskey tango' means?" I asked with a smirk.
"Yes, but it's kind of racial," he said very seriously. "It means 'white trash.' But don't put that in your story. They don't mean it in a bad way."
The guy was of vague Asian descent, and seemed cautious as though he might offend me.
"Oh, of course, the 'good' white trash," I said. "I told a friend of mine what it meant, and she thought I was calling her white trash. She got very angry," he said timidly. "She was drunk."
While he was detailing what sounded suspiciously like domestic violence, he also happened to point out the place's manager to me. I sauntered over just as the guy, a dark-haired young man named Bob, was cramming a huge piece of fudge into his mouth. I very seriously asked him if he knew his bar's name meant "white trash."
He chewed for a few thoughtful seconds before giving a big, chocolatey smile. "Of course--that's the whole point! We have fun."
I could deal with that--by hopping up to the bar and snagging a round of blue-collar beers. When in Rome...