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Hooked on the Crazy Hook

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Let me just come right out and say it. I'm not a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan. Never have been. All of that swashbuckling just makes me feel sea sick. I know that for some folks such a statement might be enough to have me walk the plank, but it's the truth.

However, despite my shallow enthusiasm for the Pirates trilogy, and really, pirates in general, I do have a confession to make. I'm a regular at my friendly neighborhood bar, aptly named Crazy Hook.

Nestled (actually plunked might be a better term) on Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Korea Town, Crazy Hook has everything for the inner pirate fan in all of us. Life size pirate mannequins, wenches hanging from the ceiling, and a décor that truly rivals the inside of any pirate ship I've ever seen, are just a few of the things you can expect to be entertained by on your first trip to the Hook.

And those aren't the only things to look forward to when you visit the Hook. Ordering food and drinks can be an adventure all by themselves.

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For starters, the menu is almost entirely written in Korean, which makes deciding what to eat a little bit of a challenge. As a whole the menu is somewhat, how shall I say it, hodgepodge. Included in the assortment of random entrees the Hook features the unlikely menu combinations of vegetable primavera, teriyaki chicken, pan broiled intestines and something called Jumbo Bread, which looks like a giant cube of bread topped with a hearty dose of butter and maple syrup.

Despite this somewhat perplexing mélange of food, the Hook does have a few bar standards that you can't really go wrong with. Nachos, onion rings and wings are a decent complement to whatever drink you end up ordering. After all, ordering drinks is where the fun really begins.

When it all comes down to it, the drinks at the Crazy Hook are what truly make it a Korea Town hot spot. To begin with, beer at the Hook comes in giant, test tube like cylinders with a nozzle on the end. If you end up ordering more than 3000 cc of beer it's served to you, in true pirate style, in a wooden keg. If it's hard alcohol you're interested in the Hook provides only the best of the best, Grey Goose, Patron, Belvedere, and Johnny Walker, sold only by the bottle. Needless to say, the Hook is the ideal locale for either the beginning or end of a night of K-Town bar hopping.

When my roommates and I moved to Korea Town, fresh out of USC, we dearly hoped that, like the eclectic group of bar mates on Cheers, we too could find a place where everyone would know our name. I don't know if the Hook was really what we had in mind, but it wasn't long before a glimmer of recognition flickered across the servers' eyes whenever we entered the restaurant. Whether that's because one of our friends once tried to steal an entire beer tube from an adjoining table or because we're usually the only non-Korean patrons at the Hook, I don't know. I choose to believe it's neither.

The Crazy Hook is located at:
3250 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 389-3424

* Check it out on Wednesday, September 19th in celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day!