By David Perloff
Photos by Brevin Blach
Once upon a time, Prince Charming (Brandon) mounted his chariot (a town car) to pick up his princess (Megan) and dine with queens.
“Uhhhhh, you better make that ‘Her Royal Hotness,’ Sweetheart. You must know that I am waaaaaay hotter than you are, bitch!” yells a hot chick (in a man’s voice) from the other side of a packed dinner theater.
Tonight’s festivities begin at Lips in North Park, where fierce female impersonators will lip sync to our daters delight. Welcome to drag dining.
“We’re talking big hair, high heels and lots of duct tape, Honey.”
Before our fearless prince and princess arrive at Lips, let’s review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
MEGAN: I’m a charge nurse at a skilled nursing facility in La Mesa.
BRANDON: I’m a field technician in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. Companies hire us to audit their clean-rooms where they make drugs, so that they are ready for FDA inspections.
What do you do for fun?
MEGAN: I love the beach and being in the sun.
BRANDON: I love surfing, snowboarding and beach volleyball.
What are you best at?
MEGAN: Making the best of any situation.
BRANDON: I feel like I’m really good at taking situations that don’t go as planned and still working them to my advantage.
What are you looking for in a date?
MEGAN: I like anyone with a good sense of humor that can make me laugh. A nice smile is always a plus.
BRANDON: I suppose I like brunettes, more exotic looking girls than your typical Southern California blondes.
What’s the sexiest thing about you?
MEGAN: I’ll let my date decide that one.
BRANDON: Being tall doesn’t seem to hurt my chances with the ladies.
What do you like least about yourself?
MEGAN: I put things off to the last minute-huge procrastinator.
BRANDON: Being tall in an airplane or the backseat of cars.
What is your biggest fear?
BRANDON: That I will never own a home with an infinity pool and a swim-up bar.
What’s your sign, religion or spiritual belief system, if any?
BRANDON: My sign is Aquarius, but I don’t really put much stock in that. I wasn’t raised going to church and I was a science major in school, so I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to religion. I do believe in trying to be a good person as much as possible, though.
Fill in the blanks: In general, the people I date are “blank” and “blank.”
MEGAN: Outgoing and funny.
BRANDON: Few and far between.
Fill in the blanks: I want my date to be “blank” and “blank.”
MEGAN: Fun and memorable.
BRANDON: Hot and easy to talk to.
What’s the best thing that could happen during the date?
MEGAN: We hit it off and have a great time.
BRANDON: That, despite this being out of our comfort zone, we’re both able to relax and have fun with it.
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
MEGAN: He turns out to be a long lost relative.
BRANDON: That it’s awkward, I get too drunk, and then it gets really awkward.
That’s a dude...right?
Having had about half an hour to get acquainted in the car, Brandon and Megan are now seated at Lips. They’re talking over drinks as the house lights go down, the music goes up and the emcee announces that a cast of “chicks with dicks” (her words) are about to wow the audience with their unique style of choreographed dance moves and lip sync-ing glamourosity.
I’m telling you, girl, these “chicks” can move. They’re friggin’ funny, too-flirting with girls, grinding their hips on straight boys and putting the whole crowd into hysterics.
When Megan heads to the bathroom, the emcee takes her empty seat. Brandon may have felt like an outsider at first, but he sure seems to have warmed up to the place. (Incidentally, the Japanese word for “outsider” is gaijin, which is also the name of the new Gaslamp joint the daters are headed to next. Coincidence? Unlikely.) The couple jumps in the car and heads downtown. After they’ve had a chance to order dinner and a first round of drinks at Gaijin Noodle + Sake House, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
MEGAN: We’re having a really good time. Everything’s been really exciting.
BRANDON: I’m having a great time. I was a little nervous about Lips at first, because you have those preconceptions when you roll into a place like that, but very fun, definitely a perfect way to loosen up the evening.
What were your first impressions of your date?
MEGAN: I felt like he seemed nervous, but once we started talking he kind of snapped out of it and held a good conversation.
BRANDON: As soon as she got in the car she just brought a really awesome energy, was just super fun and put me at ease right away.
What have you been talking about?
MEGAN: He’s fun to talk with. He likes to joke like I do. It’s good.
BRANDON: She was definitely easy to talk to. The conversation flows. She’s just a fun girl. I couldn’t pick a better blind date.
Is this the type of person you would normally date?
MEGAN: No, not because there’s anything wrong with him, but I probably wouldn’t pick him out of the crowd. But since I’ve been here with him, I’ve actually had a really good time.
BRANDON: I would definitely date her, ‘cause she’s super fun and easygoing.
What did you think of Lips?
MEGAN: Lips was awesome. I think he felt a little uncomfortable at the beginning, because he was like, “Oh, my god! What are we doing?” But we had a good time and we joked about it.
BRANDON: Definitely a very unique situation. You get in there at first, and it’s, like, kind of weird. The girl, Tootie, sat down with me for a second, and we just kind of chatted it up. Just a fun energy and fun crowd. Even if things were a little bit awkward at first, it put a good energy on the night.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
And for personality.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
BRANDON: Maybe not right now. It’s almost at a friend level at this point.
Does your date want to kiss you now?
MEGAN: I don’t know, maybe.
BRANDON: I have no idea.
Soup’s on at Gaijin Noodle + Sake House
After stuffing our mouths with executive chef Antonio Friscia’s yakitori (Japanese BBQ-what did you think we meant?), the magazine crew finally leaves Brandon and Megan alone to enjoy the rest of the evening in peace. We call the next morning to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was Gaijin?
MEGAN: It was wonderful. The food and drinks were great, and the service was awesome.
BRANDON: Awesome. It had a really nice, relaxed atmosphere, and you can tell they put a lot of effort into creating a really cool ambiance. It was definitely the perfect change of pace to the high-energy insanity of Lips.
What did you eat and drink?
MEGAN: I think I had one of everything. The bacon-wrapped quail eggs were amazing. The lamb meatballs and steak skewers were some of my other faves. As for drinks, the craft cocktails were delicious and creative.
BRANDON: We ordered a lot of different things. It reminded me of getting tapas, where you get to try a little bit of everything rather than getting stuck with just one entree. The bacon-wrapped quail eggs were amazing, once again proving that you can wrap almost anything in bacon and turn it into a delicious meal. For dessert we had caramel-bacon s’mores, which I thought were really original and every bit as good as they sound.
What happened after the magazine left?
MEGAN: We just finished up our drinks at the restaurant and then called it a night.
BRANDON: We finished our drinks and then headed home. I felt bad for Megan, because she had to work at 7 a.m. the next morning. I was actually really impressed with her energy level the whole date, considering how early she had to get up.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
MEGAN: No kisses.
What was the best part of the date?
MEGAN: I’m gonna have to say Lips. The drag queens put on a great show.
BRANDON: The best part of the date was Lips. It actually turned out to be a really fun show.
Will there be a second date?
MEGAN: Probably not. I think we had more of a friend vibe.
BRANDON: I would go out on another date with Megan. She was really fun to hang out with, and a lot of the ways she handled different situations during the night were very similar to how I would, which I really liked about her.
If you were to dress up in drag, who would you be and what song would you sing?
MEGAN: Madonna, and “Like a Virgin.”
BRANDON: I think I would play to my height and do a really sexy Big Bird theme.
If your date were to dress in drag, who would he/she be?
MEGAN: Celine Dion?
BRANDON: I think Megan would look amazing in a super-sexy Snuffleupagus-themed outfit, and we would do a duet for our song.
Seems like Brandon was a little more into Megan than she was into him. But at Lips, where Tootie ended up leading an on-stage cheer for Brandon, our prince was treated like royalty.
Boys will be boys, and boys will be girls. And sometimes, you can barely tell the difference-especially when there’s duct tape involved. For best results, keep an eye out for Eve’s favorite fruit (Adam’s apples). As any mohel or squirrel would tell you, “That’s just nuts.”
The moral of the story: Going on a blind date might be scary, but it takes real balls to be a drag queen. You go, girls!
Gaijin Noodle + Sake House
627 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp
3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park
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