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Skipping past the juicy but irrelevant PR hype (“ermhagerd it’s owned by a Playboy Playmate!”), the Lucky Bastard saloon at 840 Fifth Avenue looks like its trying harder than most to put food worth eating on the menu. This is no binding review, as the restau is still mired in soft-open confusion, but the place has some promise.

Of course, it’s still a Gaslamp bar with free beer pong on the mezzanine and an official dress code of chaps and tiny little knickers. Yeah, that’s right. Chaps. And here we were thinking chaps were just for wild gay dudes during Pride....

But, back to the menu. It really looks like they’re giving it a go with a legit menu of comfort food. Fried cheese curds ($7), despite being candidly undersold by a diminutive server with a sense of humor and an odd collection of big sky idioms in her vocabulary, tasted of little more than deep-fried cheese, although not as “gooey” as the menu promised.

None

The namesake cheeseburger ($10), laden with bacon and peanut butter, must have weighed close to a full pound when all was said and done. It was an eating person’s cheeseburger, not a drinking person’s burger, and that’s an important distinction.

Hungry bastards, if I may, get to pick from other good stuff. A $14 ribeye steak with fries? That’s a good use of $14, provided it’s an actual ribeye of any quality. Chicken and waffles graced the menu’s copy, which included not a single capital letter, oddly enough. The most curious dish was a bowl of chilli...served with a hot cinnamon roll on the side.

Maybe this is asking too much of a bar, but it really looks like they’re trying to make the menu worth it for those who want more than soggy flat-top cooking. If the prices stay reasonable and the menu remains expansive, Lucky Bastard could be a cool place for the hungry, not just the drunken.

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