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Plaza Cocktails

July 23, 1994

"Nightclubbing on the Edge" (June 23), about the new clubs in Los Angeles, was very interesting. Re the Lava Lounge--"a paradise in the middle of hell," "a Hungarian bar," a "prostitute hangout" and "like watching 'Cops' ": Plaza Cocktails, as it used to be known, was a small neighborhood bar--my nearest local bar when I lived in Hollywood. One of my best friends (whom I met in there) was a bartender there in the late 1980s.

True, it was frequented by a number of Hungarians, mainly because the owner was Hungarian, and the Eastern European people knew they had somewhere to go to mingle with their own countrymen. Also a lot of other people, who had businesses in the neighborhood, frequented the bar.

I also remember meeting a very famous household-name rock star who had been visiting a record company in the neighborhood. He had gone in for a drink and exclaimed to me that "he wouldn't be bothered in a little working-class neighborhood bar."

As for prostitutes, I am not myself one, so possibly would not know what to look for either upscale or downscale. I certainly do not remember anyone haggling a price.

I have some good memories of Plaza Cocktails, as I met a lot of people way back then and made some good friends. I only hope the new Lava Lounge lives up to L.A.'s expectations.

G. WALKER-SAMPLES, Los Angeles

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