I never liked dating. In fact, I hated it with a passion. To me, going out into public with someone that you barely knew, but were somewhat attracted to, was always awkward. I hated it so much that there was a hot surfer guy I briefly dated who stopped calling because, and I quote, “That chick calls in sick too much.”? And by calling in sick, he meant canceling dates.
When I did go out, I’d always make the dumb-ass mistake of compensating my weird social issues with alcohol consumption. The more uncomfortable I was, the more cocktails I would down. The more cocktails I would down, the friendlier I would get. The friendlier that I got, the more the guy wanted to ask me out again. I can be very friendly.
Once, I drank so much wine at The Chart House that I passed out on my date at the Kukui Mall theater. I don’t remember the name of the flick, but it was that one with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts. Despite the fact that I can’t remember the movie and that it’s pretty obnoxious to pass out on a date, the next weekend he asked me out again,which makes me wonder what else I can’t remember.
But this past weekend, as I was sitting with my husband and a colleague at Cafe Mambo watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I thought dating could actually be fun. It sure seemed like the couples on dates watching the movie with us were having a grand time.
Every Saturday night, it’s Cinema Night at Cafe Mambo–where they play cool older films and you can kick back, enjoy a drink or some dessert and watch the show. It sure beats the hell out of greasy popcorn and $5 gummy bears at the cineplex. Not to mention, the films at Cafe Mambo are tried and true–picked straight from both the AFI and BFI top 100 movies list as well as FilmFour’s 50 films to see before you die. They’ve already shown Pulp Fiction, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Chinatown and the original UK version of The Italian Job.
Before settling in to watch Monty Python and all of their absolute ridiculousness, we had an awesome meal and sufficient time to hang out, talk and discuss Ray Masters’ bold and zany art that lines the walls of the restaurant.
The ambiance at Cafe Mambo is festive and warm. Funky tables, some with mosaic tops and one half of the restaurant is lined with a big bench filled with cool, fluffy jewel-toned pillows. We sat in the back corner on the bench, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, but with a great view for people watching.
I sat there and reminisced about when Mambo was Picnics–when I was little my Aunty worked at the restaurant. It’s a lot fancier nowadays, but the layout is very similar. The counter where you make takeouts is still the same, as is the location on the restroom. During dinner, I told stories about how I attended a baby shower there after hours and how when I was five, I got locked in the bathroom before school one morning.
I’ve always loved the food at Cafe Mambo. My favorite lunch item is the spinach falafel sandwhich which is super tasty and although different, is a good substitution for Picnic’s very missed Spinach Nut Burger.
For dinner, we ordered the tapa platter, which is filled with hummus, falafel, cheese fondue, different types of bread and veggies. Then I had the pork fajitas. The portions were huge. My husband opted for a hamburger, which he said was “actually really good,”? and my colleague ordered the lamb stew with couscous at my recommendation.
By the time the movie came on, we were stuffed. Many people were eating dessert and having coffee. You can order drinks and dessert throughout the movie.
It was a blast and I’ll definitely be back–I may even call it a date next time. MTW