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THE MIXER

A raucous home for the bikers and sun gods

November 10, 2005|Katie Love | Special to The Times

JUDGING from the dancing and grinding on the dance floor, the Sagebrush Sunday legend holds true: Not everyone likes it in the dark.

A lot of tans are out with their owners this afternoon. Deep, rich tans, barely concealed in bikini tops and miniskirts. Sinewy muscles swim underneath the tans, and I think about the panicked plea my muscles gave me the last time I worked out. "Who told you this was a good idea?" they said.

I order a plate of nachos along with its best friend: the blended margarita.

I stumbled on this Mecca of Debauchery in the middle of running errands, and it occurred to me that Sundays are a bad day for chores, and "to-do" lists are certainly evil. This epiphany is confirmed as the cover band starts up and suddenly, everyone is a backup singer in a roadhouse movie. Fortunately, the enormous outside bar can handle this cast of characters.

Bikers gather in every corner, well costumed in their Harley-Davidson designer wear.

They are laughing, cajoling and drinking their brew with such gusto that I feel as if I've stepped into a medieval Camelot, only King Arthur now presides over the Knights of the Round Bellies.

A knight makes what I think is a "come hither" gesture, but I realize he's talking to the woman behind me, who looks like a young Patty Hearst. Patty runs to the dance floor, and I feel a tinge of jealousy. That could be me spinning out of control among a frenzy of leather.

Between the bare-bellied, halter-topped partyers is a lovely woman in her 60s. She is dancing with a younger version of herself, and they are the only people fully dressed. Disco Mom is a beat off, but her pelvis doesn't care, it just keeps trying to catch up with the rest of her.

Patty, meanwhile, has lost a shoe. One of the knights whisks her to his table for a drink and brow wipe with his bandana. It looks very romantic until he scolds her and sends her packing. My nachos arrive as Patty stumbles dangerously close to my margarita. I put out a protective hand, and she takes this gesture as an invitation and plops down.

There's a faint smile on her face that could easily turn to a frown, then a wail of a cry. The crowd teeters between empathy and disdain and the festivities are about to come to a halt. Perhaps I could say something comforting: "You can't do anything to anyone they don't invite or allow. Nacho?" Somewhere, a therapist weeps.

I hand Patty her lost shoe and notice my to-do list stuck to its heel.

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Katie Love can be reached at weekend@latimes.com.

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Sagebrush Cantina

Where: 23527 Calabasas Road, Calabasas

When: Daily, 9 a.m. to close; breakfast, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday; brunch, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

What: Blended margaritas, $5.75; nachos, $8.95; lunch appetizers, salads and entrees to $12.95; dinner items to $14.95.

Info: (818) 222-6062; www.sagebrushcantina.com

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