Making Ping-Pong Sexy

Susan Sarandon’s beau opens a swanky table tennis joint at the Standard in DTLA
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The Place
Susan Sarandon and boyfriend Jonathan Bricklin have taken Ping-Pong out of the rec room and into the plush environs of the Standard. On the second floor of the downtown hotel, 11 bright orange tables sit in a large, clubby bar outfitted with leather couches. Subtle black lights illuminate the ball, the net—and the whites of your opponent’s eyes as you go in for the kill.

The People
Opened in December, the L.A. outpost of the table tennis/nightlife hybrid draws stylish singles, striped-shirt execs, and adventurous hotel guests. Want to improve your odds? Sign up for a lesson with one of the pros, who are just as attractive as their hard-court counterparts.

The Payoff
Let perky attendants shag balls as you sip cocktails or cans of PBR. The combo of amateur athleticism and sleek sophistication breaks down barriers—whether you experience the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.

550 S. Flower St., downtown, 213-439-3065 or losangeles.spingalactic.com. Tables: $30 per hour; lessons: $100 per hour; reservations recommended.

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As a food writer and restaurant critic for the L.A. Weekly, Shatkin was best known for her “30 Days” missions, in which she reviewed the same item (burgers, sandwiches, ice cream) from a different restaurant for 30 consecutive days. Before that, she was a staff writer for the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times and the events and festivals editor for the paper’s short-lived Guide. Shatkin has been a contributor to the book EAT: Los Angeles, film editor of LAist, and a writer for such publications as American Cinematographer, Bitch, Toque, and Variety. She is a regular guest on KCRW’s Good Food. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, and raised in Cupertino, she is an alumnus of the UCLA School of Film & Television.