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Best Hash Bar in LA

Scoring lousy Arizona ditch weed from the Mexican escort promoters (hooker hawkers), working the crowds on Las Vegas Boulevard, with their girly photo handouts, took me about an hour, and I'm not sure it was worth the hassle but I'd just picked up a SUV/Crossover with satellite radio and GPS from a rental car company at the airport and was looking forwards to driving into the sunset on my way to California. Side-note: always make sure you have a GPS when driving in Los Angeles (unless you really know the city). The dirt weed was so mild and sad, after the massive quantities of BC Bud I'd been enjoying for the prior couple of months, and the desert temperatures so ferocious, that I was forced to grab a cold six-pack to help me make through the night. I drove straight to the sea.

paradise_cove.jpgThe Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH as it's known, is about the only safe place I know-of where a person can sleep in a car in Southern California, but also I had a lunch meeting scheduled for a swank seaside restaurant called Geoffrey's, so it just made sense to drive directly to Malibu, then pass-out in the back of the SUV, since I'd been awake for about 36 hours at that point. It was nice to awake to the smell and the sounds of the beach, so I drove until I found Paradise Cove (see photo) and went for a big run along the shore, under the houses of the rich and famous, then had a nice shower and got cleaned up for my first big meeting. The scene was right out of a movie but I'd cased the place that morning and was completely prepared, so the luncheon went down like it was rehearsed. I left Malibu with an invite to come back to what turned out to be the coolest poker room I'd ever seen (up until that day), feeling confident, based on the extensive conversation, that funding for Reefer Poker was imminent.

The drive from Malibu to LA is one my favorites and one that I was to make a few dozen times, in both directions, in no less than a dozen different cars. My trick for getting great cars on the cheap, is to use Priceline and bid on full-size cars by the week, for pick-up at the airport late in the evenings, when you know most of the business users are dropping cars off to fly back east, then upgrade to better rides. Same for cheap hotel rooms, you can nab 4 star rooms for $60 per night at LAX if you know when to bid on them, same with rooms in downtown, it's all a matter of knowing how many nights, what to bid and for what nights. Forget about Hollywood or Beverly Hills using Priceline, beside with a nice new Camaro, Challenger, Mustang, or Corvette who cares about the extra drive time, as long as you land a good deal on a 4 star room and a great car for $25 per day. So I'd use hotel rooms a couple nights per week, hang-out all night at poker home-games a couple nights per week, then drive back to Vegas for the $50/night Vegas Hilton (or similar), stay there a few nights, lurking the poker rooms and meeting with people at the Bellagio, then drive back to LA at attend more poker home-games in Beverly Hills, Malibu and other cool cribs.

medical-kush-beach-club.jpgVenice Beach is was my next stop after Malibu, on my first day in California, straight to Dr. Kush, the examination and medical marijuana licensing process took about 30 minutes and cost about $125, or the equivalent of a good quarter oz. of bud, however the benefits of Kush Beach Club membership, as they say on MasterCard, was priceless. The dispensary is on the second floor and looks directly on to muscle beach, where on any given day there's a small platoon of ripped, buffed, and/or swollen body builders, pumping away on the iron, under the hot California sun, right on the edge of the sand. We can see them but they can't see us through the one-way glass, which is good because they'd be as disgusted in what we were doing, as we were disgusted in what they were doing - at least our abuse is of an herb and not a chemical, and in all fairness, some of the dudes using the weights on muscle-beach were not exaggerated from anything other than discipline and hard work but others were almost comic.

The big space is split in half, with the dispensary on one side and the hash bar on the other. I'd always score my stash first before hitting the best hash bar in LA. There was almost always a short line-up, which provides enough time to make your selection from the substantial menu displayed on a huge flat-screen monitor, the strains, quantity and price are listed in columns, and categories added to make choosing your gear a little easier. Every strain has an associated number and many people just ask for the strain by the number, often people ask to see several varietals and inspect each with a sniff test before they make their decision. I realized that the cute girls working behind the bullet-proof glass knew more about what was what than anyone else, so I'd just ask; "what's the freshest, most popular Indica hybrid that people are raving about?" which was how I stumbled upon the deadly Kushinator. On a couple of occasions I met and got to talking to other customers while waiting in line, and then get together later over a bowl in the hash bar. The entire experience of buying weed (with my credit card) in a professional, regulated, and secure environment, was extremely righteous for me, and I found the atmosphere to be really relaxed and peaceful.

The hash bar is through a partition of the big space, the scene is very hip once you cross through the door into the hash bar, both rooms have comfy couches by the window, overlooking muscle beach, but what sets this experience apart is that immediately you notice they you're in a bar, the actual bar of which is made of laminated wood like an old long-board surf board the runs the entire length of the room and wraps around at the end by the window to form a really nice lounge area. In this area, at the end of the bar, there are soft, low, leather couches against the glass looking out on the beach. The décor is simple rock 'n roll style, the music is usually not over-bearing but it's the vibe of the place that's hip.

I'll never forget my first time getting high at the Has Bar, as I was all alone at first (which never happened again) with this cute Asian girl as my bud-tender, she asked me if I wanted an "ice-coil" and of course I said yes, since I didn't know what she was talking about, then I realized I only recognized a couple of things on the flat-screen monitor (menu) Kief and Alaska Thunder-fuck, under that was "Dragon" for $8, so that was my choice to smoke through an ice-coil, whatever that was. Next the bud-tender sets-up an immaculately cleaned bong base of clear glass, with clean water, then she brings the ice-coil from the freezer and stacks it on the bong base and begins to assemble the glass stem with spotless bowl, loaded-up with my choice of gear. Once the bong is assembled and I've finished inspecting the product, she asks me if I'm ready, I give her the nod, she pulls-out a butane torch and begins heating a glass rod until it's pink, then gives me the nod, so I settle-in over the bong mouth-piece, and as soon as the red-hot rod hits the bud pollen, I begin to slowly inhale. I can see the smoke curling around the glass coils and then wham - Houston we have lift-off, as I suck the Dragon into my lungs.

The leather couches are necessary when smoking from an ice-coil because after of each of the 3 mega bong-hits, I'd fall back into the plush leather and try to hold-on to the smoke without coughing. If you cough once, you're doomed on each subsequent bong-hit but the other benefit is to just lay there listening to the music and staring out past the muscle-heads at the blazing hot beach. After the third and final hit I'd linger awhile in the lounge until I'd groove on, then adorn the shades and walk out onto the busy boardwalk of Venice Beach and off to face the rest of my day, with a giant buzz on.

Not that I needed to use the on-board GPS to get back to Venice Beach but since it was the first place I programmed in to the computer, in the first car I rented and every car after that, I found myself pushing that destination on the GPS a couple of times per week, from different places in the LA basin, even if there were dozens of other dispensaries that I'd be driving by to get there. Also, I shout-out has to go to my friends at WeedMaps.com for providing an outstanding service, that save my sanity in parts of Northern California when I started running low. And another side note - during the license application process the good Doctor asked me if I ever suffer from anxiety - I answered: only when I run out of weed. No wonder I love California....

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