October 02, 2005

Khmer Rouge Cafe. A new Cambodian cafe is offering diners a slice of life under the Khmer Rouge, with a menu featuring rice-water and leaves, and waitresses dressed in the black fatigues worn by Pol Pot's ultra-Maoist guerrillas.

This is brilliant! Hey, someone in Colorado could make a killing with a theme restaurant based on the Sand Creek massacre.

  • I don't really think much of that, and to be honest I'm not surprised they're not doing so well.
  • The last thing you want a cafe to be is tasteless, and this is difficult to top.
  • I'd say it's definitely an interesting idea. Rather hard to duplicate the Pol Pot times without killing anyone, though. What place does commercialism (i.e., this restaurant, as opposed to say, setting up a museum) have with regard to preserving our history and educating us? I think the biggest problem might be dissonance between those goals and trying to make money.
  • I think commercialism can by necessity have no deeper connection to preserving history than joining in hurray-patriotism (chauvinism). One just cannot sell products by presenting history as it was - i. e. pretty horrible. Most of history is crisis and struggle. Not all of it is genocide served with a double frappuciono, though.
  • I recall dining amid a lightly moist mist, under fake plastic trees with swinging plastic monkeys and chatting parrots, chugging a drink called 'Monkey's delight' in a Rainforest' cafĂ© at some tourist spot many years ago, thinking: 'we certainly can't get much lower that this'. I've been proved wrong time after time.
  • Already been shut down for operating without a license. They intend to reopen, though. Isn't this kinda like a concentration camp theme restaurant with wonderful toys for the children after the shower?
  • Fucking sick. Goddamn. "Children were torn apart like fresh bread." Goddamn.
  • This initially reminded me of The Third Reich restaurant, but that's in Korea (I think), if it still exists, and not run or owned by people who are descendants of those who died under the same genocidal regime that provides the cafe's theme, across the road from a notorious interrogation/torture center. "This is more than just a restaurant. It is to remind us of those who died." It looks like there are already many reminders, some of them even walking about freely until a few years ago.
  • Obnoxious Girl: I'll have a Ketel Cosmo, with Red Bull - and some bread ASAP. Andrew Largeman: ...We don't have bread. Obnoxious Girl: What do you mean you don't have bread, how can you not have bread? Andrew Largeman: ...we're a Vietnamese restaurant... we just don't have bread. Obnoxious Girl: Well, you're not Vietnamese. Andrew Largeman: ...No, I'm not. Obnoxious Girl: Can I have something to chew on! Fuck, bamboo! Whatever! Andrew Largeman: I'll see what I can find.