Oh God, where do I start? (Sorry, this is my Erma Bombeck beginning…) I was dragged to this place by a buddy of mine for some nerdfest called The Blogger Bash. I had walked by this bar a million times and was scared to death to go in even without the added fact that I was going to have to hang out with a bunch of freaks who were going to talk about how many times their cat puked on Tuesday, or why they think macramé should be an Olympic sport. The bar itself proved to not be as scary as I expected, but I was there before the crowds. It was initially easy to get a drink, and the surroundings were reasonably cool, with a light-up bar, small tables by the front windows and others lining the wall. While I’ll skip my actual experience at the event I was there to attend (you can read about that by clicking the link earlier in this review), I emerged from the side room where it was being held at some point to see the true face of Zanzibar–and it was exactly what I expected. A bunch of hard-looking early-thirty-somethings dripping with desperation, all waiving twenties in the hopes that one of the inexperienced bartenders would notice them and grab them a cosmo before their courage dried up. It’s one of those places that is so hideously uncool that only insecure trendoids would consider it “classy” or “exclusive.” All the more reason to jack up the prices, play the music too loud and make people believe there’s something cool going on behind the white curtains. Remember the Wizard of Oz? Yup, they pulled back the curtain and found the mighty Oz was merely a dude pulling a bunch of levers. Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain! [MF]

645 9th Ave.