Saturday, August 2, 2014

3-in-1 venue and reasons to miss San Diego, while I still REALLY like London

Could it be that for one night we might have taken a CineTREK back to San Diego to visit the merging of the Ken Cinema and the Ken Club? Both these historic icons in San Diego have significantly influenced the art and music culture there. Without them, the small fragment of culture our “cow town” actually has would be swept further away, making room for more posh things like those found here in South Kensington.

It’s no surprise that San Diego’s Kensington community mimics (or tries to mimic) South Kensington, London, UK. It’s an immaculate mecca for yuppies and retired yuppies (for the most part). But many non-yuppies still flock there mainly for the aforementioned icons and the chance to experience the down-to-earth/vintage atmosphere they provide away from the trendiness of the Gaslamp Quarter and neighboring malls. For example, just recently, when rumor about the closure of the Ken Cinema due to property lease issues spread like wildfire throughout blogs and word-of-mouth, supporters roared to keep it open.

The mere thought of not having a Ken Cinema to go to when there are literally HUNDREDS of other screens to choose from around town (mostly in malls), struck a nerve with certain members of the community, more prominently, the art-and-culture lovers in town. The stance was more geared toward acknowledging that such historic venues cannot so easily be conquered to produce more-profitable, albeit, less-agreeable establishments in their place (and heaven knows we need more posh restaurants to align the remaining historic fragments on Adams Avenue! Right?).

Anyway, stepping far away (a continent away) from that, we find ourselves at the Roxy Bar and Screen… No other bar calls itself this! It’s reminiscent of the two establishments previously mentioned, but with the laid-back mission statement of the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park, San Diego, CA, USA. Are any of you feeling nostalgic yet? Well, you should be.

Although I like the Roxy Bar and Screen’s atmosphere and the display of local art on the walls going for an average £400 a piece (which we can honestly say San Diego venues also display), the food I ordered was subpar (when I know for a fact bar food can be superb!) and I had no idea that in London, when you order Grilled Lamb, it translates in Grilled Ash (I should have really read that pocket dictionary of local British jargon to be keen to this distinction).

Any hoot, the evening was fun and the projection of Pulp Fiction was brilliant. No technical difficulties whatsoever. The drinks were alright and the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves. What more can a London bar ask for (other than to serve GOOD food when potential food critics are present and paying nearly $30USD per plate)? I give this venue a B- as I continue my quest of many quests to find out “WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR A PERSON TO GET A DECENT GRILLED STEAK IN LONDON?! AND ADDED TO THAT, GET A SUITABLE KNIFE TO CUT SAID STEAK?!”  

When I return to San Diego, I’m going to hug my knives and thank them for being so sharp and never disappointing me in a food predicament. Then I’m going to go eat a steak at the Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill, drive by the Whistle Stop (and wave) as I make my way to the Ken Club to have a cheap trademark drink and then walk ten feet to see a movie (I’ve probably already seen) at the Ken Cinema.... Actually, no, I still want to explore more of London. Damn it, London! Why do you have to be so VAST and why does a month have to go by so FAST?!

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