[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our weekly nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]
With tales of drug dealing, tire-slashing and my friend going home with a woman twice his age, how could I not visit Hot Shots in La Habra? I rolled up on a Tuesday night to its welcoming committee: a group of men smoking on the patio. A couple of them piped up and apologized for how slow it was inside. They should've apologized for how nice it was instead: Everything was big and clean, and a second room toward the back featured five pool tables and two electronic dart boards. Most all the furniture looked relatively new, the lights were on bright, and the massive flat-screens behind the bar alternated between sports and Comedy Central's Brickleberry. No music, just the crude humor of the cartoon and the inviting smell of warm food filled the two rooms.
Perhaps my friends were exaggerating when they said this is the type of place where someone is likely to pull out a gun?
I sat among four other patrons, all middle-aged males. The young guy working solo behind the bar greeted me with a smile. A Blue Moon for me, as usual. The beers on draft were decent, but the liquor on the wall was of a higher order than most neighborhood bars, with Blue Label on the bottom shelf. Feeling a bit hungry, I grabbed a menu casually before setting it down.
"Do you want something to eat?" the bartender asked. "My chef's almost off."
"No, not if he's leaving," I said.
"No, it's not a problem at all!" he insisted.
I told him I'd like to try one of the one-buck tacos, but only if it wasn't too much trouble. He went back to the kitchen and returned. "I told my chef we have two new customers who want to try his tacos," he assured. "They only take a few minutes to whip up."
The taco arrived quickly and was warm, and you know what? It was the tastiest taco I've had for $1 this side of the 91. Soft corn tortilla, carne asada, and a generous helping of onions, cilantro and salsa--simple and delicious.
A guy and a gal on crutches came in shortly after us. "Hey, you got a limp dick or what?" the guy heckled at the bartender as soon as he walked in. A secret bromance? No one said. The bartender informed the two new guests he's still not drinking. "Doctor's orders," he said, explaining he'd been diagnosed with pancreatitis, probably from drinking too much.
"That's not from drinking too much," the customer replied knowingly. "That's from too much butt sex!"
Ah, here we go. Hot Shots is finally heating up.
"Hey, you got any tweezers?" a guy on my right yelled to the bartender.
"Why, [so-and-so's] got to go to the bathroom again?" the bartender shot back.
"No, he needs to masturbate," the customer replied.
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We stayed throughout Comedy Central's late-night lineup, through Brickleberry, then The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park (it was the glorious episode in which Randy tries to go for the world record of the biggest shit, but Bono holds the record) before we decided to pack it in. Those dick jokes and the toilet humor of South Park were the closest we came to any of the hilarious horror stories that seem to go along with Hot Shots. Guess I'll have to go back with that friend of mine who bagged a MILF. He knows how Hot Shots works, apparently.
Best line of the night: "That's not from drinking too much; that's from too much butt sex!"
Hot Shots Sports Bar and Grill 1500 E. La Habra Blvd., La Habra, (562) 697-5686.