Adam Erace at Hop Sing Laundromat

Adam Erace had held out longer than most. Turned off by Hop Sing Laundromat’s hype and its proprietor’s self-deprecation, Erace at avoided Lee’s Chinatown cocktail bar. But for a first review of 2013, the bar beckoned. And although identified, City Paper’s reviewer tells his tale.

The off-menu tequila Old Fashioned was mostly booze but, paradoxically, not boozy. When the fire vanished from its tableside-flamed orange peel, it revealed a smooth tango of mezcal and reposado, smoke and oak set to plainspoken Angostura, agave and a spray of essential citrus oils. I sought that balance in the Triple A special, but there wasn’t enough fresh-pressed green apple juice to combat the lethal doses of applejack and absinthe.

“I know you didn’t like the Triple A,” Lee whispered when he set down the check, “so I took it off the bill.” I’d given no indication I hadn’t liked it. I’d even drunk most of it. Is Lee psychic or just a very keen observer?

The Truth About Czar Lee [City Paper]
Hop Sing Laundromat [Official Site]

Photo by Neal Santos

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  • DelCo Snob


  • Joe S.

    Hop Sing yawwwn……..

  • ummm

    Ummmmm Mr. Lee is not on the liquor license, no where to be found even as a manager. JAMES B KNAPP is the owner, and MARC YANGA is the manager. Spare us this fairy tale overhyped creation of yours, it’s annoying as pho-ok

  • Alimentarian

    The article says that Erace was turned off by Lee’s *phony* self-deprication.

  • rory

    Things I enjoyed in this entertaining review:
    -Lee not having champagne for a cocktail (oh, no french 75s? lol)
    -Erace’s humblebragging about his ethics re: gifts
    -The image of Erace running from store to store instead of checking online with the PLCB to see that Wigle Ginever is an online exclusive.

  • CM Drunk

    Erace humblebrag? NEVER!!!!!! In other news, next week at Green Aisle, Hop Sing bitters.

  • anon

    Erace’s busllshit about his faux ethics are hilarious…how the hell did Lee know where he lives. What a bullshit article.Just another half ass writer kissing lee’s ass.

  • Jimmy

    Query as to why we all continue to call the “manager” “Lee?”

  • ummm

    Because apparently racial stereotype names like “Mr Lee” and “Hop Sing” and occupations for Chinese at “Laundromats” are apparently funny Jimmy, especially when the real owner has a Jewish name. Looking forward to Sambo’s Watermelon Stand with Rufus as manager. Will be the next hyped nightclub of Foobooz and Phillymag. Disgusting

    • Hop Sing Laundromat is a Bonanza reference. It was a TV show. Look it up.

  • tim

    Actually, the name Hop Sing is a reference to the TV show Bonanza. The term laundromat had nothing to do with Bonanza, in that no such thing as a laundromat exisited during the time period in which the TV show represents. Although, the character Hop Sing, did indeed do laundry for the Cartwright clan, along with other duties. I didn’t need to look it up.

  • Cheese and Crackers, will youse Lee haters Shut The Front Door? Commenters that have No Idea where the name came from, yet ignorantly ASSume it to be racist. Just go somewhere else and let those of us Philadelphians who Appreciate a new [and well done] concept bar, along with a little mystery [who gives a $hite who owns this place or Any place, unless You wanna hate on ’em?] enjoy it. When can you think of the last really cool concept that happened in Phila? The Garage? The waterfall behind the mirrors upstairs at Lickety Split? Just list ALL the bars, restaurants and owner/managers you hate, and be Done with it. Throw in the Mummers Parade while you’re at it. For the love of Carmen’s Country Kitchen, zip it Dingbats!! And Happy New year to you all.

  • Progress

    Really Foobooz? “It was on TV sixty years ago so it’s ok”? Maybe we should all wear blackface to your awards ceremonies cause it was cool on stage turn of the century? The rest of us have moved on since “The Birth of a Nation” in 1916. Even your Ayran pals know “Hop Sing” is a derogatory term

    What kind of moron claims TV gives something credibility?
    Oh yeah, this is Foobooz, learns it’s marketing from Cohen’s Advertising Scheme

  • Man oh Manoshewitz [is That a slur, Progress?] are there Any non-thin skinned folks out there NOT looking to be offended? Why do you hate America and Bonanza? Just exactly What Part of Hop Sing’s name offends you and Why do you equate it with blackface? Is it OK for black folks to parody blackface by wearing it? Are you offended when black people call each other anything starting with the N-word? Do we need your permission Progress? And then, just when we’re All tired of you, ‘Boom’ drops the arayan [no such thing btw] nation references.

  • Adwarf

    Schmidt eh? no wonder

  • Marc Yanga

    Just to make sure it is clear, I, Marc Yanga, is NOT the manager of “Hop Sing”. This is completely false. I am not sure where this has started. But, I am not.

  • Liar

    Number Zero Son Marc, You are a liar, just like the false premise of this whole place.

    Don’t lie about public facts jerkface

  • Foods Lover

    Details Magazine got it right. Hop Sing Laundromat is the best cocktail bar in Philly!