Lady Gaga, pop's reigning avant garde princess, makes her third appearance in Houston with her Monster Ball tour on Friday, to the delight of Houston's little monsters.
While seeing Gaga at Toyota Center is an experience on its own, seeing her from across the bar is even better. And with the Lady having played in Austin Wednesday night and possessing an off day on Thursday before Friday night's Toyota Center concert, the stage is set for the superstar to have plenty of potential playtime in Houston.
Luckily for us regular folk, when she's not performing or crashing at five-star hotels, Gaga favors hole-in-the-wall hideouts over high-style hotspots. Last year's post-concert trip to Spanish Flowers has been outed, and Dirt Bar has been torn down, but we've got a few ideas where the slumming superstar might hang out while she's in Houston.
Gaga says she spends most of her money avoiding the paparazzi —ironic, isn't it? — so we can assume she won't go back to the St. Regis, where TMZ snapped pics of her playing in the pool last summer. The Houstonian has the same out-of-the-way, discrete luxury vibe, and a stellar pool to boot.
Stars: They're just like us! And by that we mean that at 3 a.m. they crave greasy, old-fashioned Tex-Mex. Since Spanish Flowers has been done, we picture Gaga at this classic hole in the wall on Richmond. We suggest the DJP (Don Juan Plate) — French fries smothered in queso, bacon, chili, jalepeños and shredded cheese.
In addition to strong drinks, rude bartenders and a total lack of fancy, this West U dive offers something few other bars in Houston can: Legal indoor smoking (West University hasn't outlawed it) and the guarantee that no one there gives a shit who you are.
Where the Marquis is just dingy, Lola's has a colorful yet low-rent artistic bent that's almost pretty when viewed from the bottom of a bottle, plus the bartenders are nicer and there are less Rice kids.
If the Lady wants to get away from Post Oak, there's always the over-the-top ZaZa, temporary home to the likes of Lauren Conrad and Drake, most recently. We wouldn't be surprised if they've already outfitted a suite with a fire-shooting holster bra.
If Gaga wasn't famous and lived in Houston, we think she'd hang out at notsuoH, where quirky intellectual meets strange, indie and occasionally dirty. Plus Robert Pattinson's already popped notsuoH's celebrity cherry.
If there are two things Lady Gaga loves, it's kitsch and the early nineties. So even though everything about Dot's reminds us of the seventies — the color scheme, the hunting motif, the wood paneling — it's also the site of a few key scenes from '90s staple Reality Bites.
We don't know if Gaga ever escapes from her hotel during daylight hours, but if she does Barbecue Inn is a great place to go incognito while eating fried chicken. What, you want to go incognito while eating a salad? Get a life.
Has anyone seen the video of Lady Gaga performing "Born This Way" with a mariachi band? We'd love to see her give a similar performance, but with the bluesy regulars that populate this Rice Village haunt.