Best Strip Club, January 2006
Los Angeles has never been as comfortable with the institution of the strip club as, say, Las Vegas or Dallas or New Orleans, expense-account cities that encourage male indulgence. L.A., for all its liberalism, is less libertine: We often seem too conflicted about what constitutes the degradation of women to allow our striptease culture to thrive. The hippest club, Jumbo’s Clown Room, features only bikini dancing; it traffics in irony. The swankest, such as 4 Play and the Score, are all nude and as such, alcohol free; sipping O.J. while getting a lap dance is closer to perv than party. A solid working-class topless bar like Sam’s HofBrau —flesh, booze, food, no cover charge—is everything a strip joint should be. That the dancers tend to reflect their customers, not their surgeons, could almost count as progressive.