Dinner at a very odd and unique restaurant.
|Dinner at Red Light
We drove up Biscayne Blvd until we reached Blu Motel, right before 79th Street. Marsica turned her white Mini Cooper into the motel parking lot where we were greeted by “Cameron, the valet guy.” He was average height and had a thick head of wavy, dirty blonde hair. Cameron reached his hand into the driver side window and introduced himself to us with a handshake. He wasn’t a typical valet guy. He was wearing a red t-shirt and khaki cargo shorts. “$5,” he said after a short monologue on why there was valet parking. Because of the strong possibility that this guy was going to get in her car and drive off, Marsica parked the car herself in a tight spot close to the parking lot entrance. We still had to pay, but at least the car wasn’t going to go missing. The $5 valet fee might have been a con artist’s scam to make a few bucks off Red Light restaurants’ unsuspecting patrons, but at least he was friendly. Marsica and I exited the car. We split the price of valet and paid Cameron his $5, possible-bullshit, fee. Cameron made small talk for a few minutes. “You look familiar” he said to me. He started asking me if I was at a local, after hours dance club the weekend before. I chuckled and shook my head “I haven’t been to Space in over a year.” Marsica looked at me and rolled her big, pool-blue eyes. Space afterhours is known for its Ecstasy fueled parties that go on until 2 in the afternoon - not really mine or Marsica’s scene. Cameron continued his flirtatious banter and, eventually, became distracted by a guy who was more his type.
I followed Marsica’s short, razor-cut, black hair up a flight of wooden stairs and approached Red Light’s door. The hostess, a young woman in her early twenty’s with her brunette hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, held the door open for us. The restaurant was dimly lit with a reddish tint to the lighting. It was reminiscent of a seedy diner found of the highway in some small town in Middle America. It was a small, square room. On the left was a counter with empty stools surrounding it, and on the other side, booths lined the walls. The young hostess asked if we wanted to sit inside or out. Marsica and I deliberated and decided that it was a nice breezy summer night and perfect for eating outdoors. We followed the hostess’s ponytail through the dining establishment to an open door leading to another wooden staircase leading down. The staircase led to a narrow courtyard. There was a canal on one side, the motel on the other, and a big tree in the center. There were tables scattered throughout. Across the canal was a lovely view of a strip club building called “At The Boulevard.” Marsica and I had a good laugh over this and wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. The hostess showed us to a table for two on the courtyard side closest to the canal (or the strip club depending on a person’s viewpoint). There was classic rock music playing from a bar located a few feet behind the staircase. The bar looked out of place with the courtyard, almost as if it belonged in a room (or courtyard) of its own. I could smell the salty, fishy scent coming from the canal, but it wasn’t unpleasant. It reminded me of the ocean. Marsica’s pale, white skin had a ghostly glow in the candlelit terrace. There was a fluffy, grey, fat cat roaming the courtyard and greeting the customers. Occasionally, it would stop and plop down right in the middle of the walkway.
A bald waiter came and took our order. He was clad in a black t-shirt and dark blue jeans. Marsica ordered a gin and cucumber martini, a salad, and a dish called “My Mexican Girlfriend,” which was a crab stuffed poblano pepper with something the chef called “gringo mole,” which might have been made out of a mole or possibly just mole sauce made from an American. We weren’t too sure. I ordered a “Touch Vodka Lemonade” and a lobster “grill cheese” sandwich which came with a side of bisque. The waiter complimented me on my choice before disappearing up the stairs.
While waiting for our drinks, Marsica and I started talking about her thirty-first birthday party that was being held in the morning. She was planning a trip up to Palm Beach to go to a water park and revert back to childhood. We were talking about all the preparations that needed to be made, including how we were going to smuggle alcohol into the park. Finally, the waiter returned with our drink order and asked, “Has anybody taken your order yet?” before realizing he had already taken our order. His face turned a bright shade of red. Marsica and I were both thinking the same thing; I hope we didn’t make a mistake coming here. After our confused waiter left the table, Marsica and I started discussing the cute busboy that was working. He was about twenty-six years old, had medium-length dark brown hair and facial hair. His looks vaguely resembled Jim Morrison. I could have sworn he kept glancing at our table and eyeing me, but that might just be me being a narcissist. Marsica, being in the middle of an eight year relationship, could only appreciate this good looking man from afar. After about twelve minutes of giggling like school girls, our food was brought to our table by the Jim Morrison-esque busboy. I smiled at him and batted my eyelashes hoping that, unlike most of the other employees, he was interested in the opposite sex.
Despite the quirkiness of the restaurant, the food was phenomenal. The lobster was fresh, and the bread was a thick, buttery, garlic bread. The bisque had big chunks of lobster in it. Marsica enjoyed her spicy poblano pepper, and it didn’t seem like they killed any moles to make it. When we finished our meal the busboy came and cleared the table. It seemed like he gave me a flirty smile, but I might have been imagining it. We got the $62 bill and split the cost. Neither one of us thought it was too expensive, considering the quality of the food and the strength of the drinks. We left the restaurant the way we came. As we reached the top of the stairs, I saw my crush of the night. I walked passed him and smiled, but he didn’t seem to notice. As we left the restaurant, I turned to glance at him one last time, vowing to myself to suggest this restaurant as often as possible.
We entered the parking lot, and Cameron was nowhere to be found. Marsica and I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was in the bathroom “powdering his nose.” Even if Cameron was scamming unsuspecting clientele, it wasn’t too big of a deal. Considering the individuality and quality of the place, I can forgive a scam artist pretending to be a valet.