Let me tell you a little story. It begins in the summer of 2016, a time in which we here at The Infatuation were looking for a new New York writer to take on the city. We had met with many qualified candidates who knew stuff about food and had a few witty lines up their sleeve, but then something happened. That something was Bryan Kim’s resume arriving in our inbox.
Bryan had followed the prompt and written a guide, which was very funny and in need of very little editing. But he also submitted a resume that listed the following under “Leadership Experience:”
• Valeted a Ferrari without a driver’s license
• Poured wine for Malcolm Gladwell
• Fought a hurricane with sandbags
By now you know how this story ends - we hired Bryan and he’s authored many hilarious and useful guides since he’s started, along with all the emails you get from us every week. But we also want you to get to know him a little better, which is why he is the subject of our first-ever Infatuation staff Friday Fives. What better way to get to know a man than to find out he sometimes goes to a bar to sing show tunes.
Bryan's "Perfect For" Picks
“I’m pretty sure every employee here could beat me up, and that’s a nice feeling. It keeps me grounded. Another bonus is the fact that no one smiles. (That’s how you know they’re taking your sandwich seriously.) Anthony & Son is an Italian-American neighborhood staple, and you can get a sandwich here that would make a bear say take it easy. It’s also somehow friendly, despite the fact that no one smiles."
“I’ve been coming here for years, and I still don’t know if it’s a restaurant or a bar. There seems to be a pretty big dining room in the back, although I’ve never set foot there. Late-night, I sit up front and eat. Maybe a burger, maybe some deviled eggs, probably some tequila. I even talk to the bartenders, which is weird because I’m not that sort of person. These guys are just so nice. I really hate it."
“In prison, you’re supposed to fight the toughest prisoner. But here you gain respect by singing. It’s essentially a really friendly knife fight (like West Side Story), and there are often ten-plus people involved. This is a little, divey basement bar in the West Village where you sip a cheap drink while you sing along to show tunes. The pianist will play without pause, and the group of core regulars won’t miss a beat. But if you aren’t a musical theater nerd, just memorize one song. When it comes up, step forward."
“When you’re here, it sort of feels like your parents left for the weekend and paid your older brother 20 bucks to cook for you. The kitchen looks like it was salvaged it from an RV, and the guy back there making all the food is the owner. And what does he make? Nachos, pancakes, eggs, and tater tots. Other stuff too, but all along those lines. Will anything here blow your mind? No. But look at that: your brother hung skateboards on the wall. Your parents are going to be so pissed."
“Listen, I’m in my late twenties, and my metabolism is still playing ball, so I can afford to like places known for their artichoke dip and macaroni. In a few years, I’ll dig up this Friday Fives, print it out, and nail it to my wall just so I can remember the taste of melted cheese as it mixes with whiskey (neat) in the back of my mouth. And the crazy thing is, I don’t even come here for the food. This place is like a dark hunting lodge on the top of a mountain, and it’s nice escape."