We had a break from production today, and my wife Julia wasn't in school, so we took the opportunity to do some errands, and hang out and just have fun. We grew hungry after a while, and I just didn't want another "out to eat" experience at a typical restaurant. I just had this strong desire to consume something that I couldn't just get in any city, like Red Lobster, Applebee's, Chipotle, which I love for sure, but just wasn't going to satisfy me today. I wanted something unique. There are some great places around here, Joe's Buffet, which catered our wedding and did an amazing job, but I'd been there a lot. I couldn't think of anything, so I started driving around, and I finally settled upon going to the newly developed Waterfront District http://www.suisunwaterfront.com/ in downtown Suisun. I realized that it was the only truly unique place in the area that spared my gas, and offered a refreshing atmosphere, and, of course, unique dining options.
We went to La Cabana today, which was very satisfying, I got a large carne asada burrito with Mole sauce, and Julia got a chili relleno and a chicken tostada, and then we went to Pad Thai to get dessert, where Julia got her absolute favorite sweet rice with mango. She took my phone away while we were there, because I had a lot of production calls to make, and other business to attend to, which was appropriate at the time because she wanted my undivided attention, however... once that beautifully adorned sticky sweet platter was set before her, I had trouble making eye contact with her because it appeared as if she was praying over her treat, which in reality, had it not been for the fork in her hand scooping nibble by nibble into her mouth, seemed to be the case. So, after attempts at some more conversation, I decided to take my phone back until she was finished. I got one phone call off.
Honestly, I was never a person to try unique things like sweet rice with mango, I like pie, but Julia has always had a more exotic taste, and one thing I took away from today was a feeling of melancholy when she fretted to me that she "just wouldn't know what to do if there wasn't a Pad Thai here when she needed it". I didn't either, and frankly I started to daydream about that exact sentiment immediately after, but moreover I was concerned about the fact that there were very few people in the place at the time we were there, and in fact, we were the only customers, everyone else was behind a bamboo barrier with an "employee only" sign watching Pierce Bronans rendition of James bond-- rather loudly. I imagined a bustling crowd in there, mostly lovers at night with authentic Thai music, sitting at tables, enjoying the cuisine, like my wife and I enjoyed in La Jolla on our honeymoon at a Thai place even smaller than this, and I thought to myself, "why not here?"
I still don't know that answer to that for sure, but I do believe that it will happen. Honestly, the Waterfront is the perfect date waiting to happen. It's close and affordable, it's clean, it's got unique food so you in fact seem unique, as to stand out to whoever you might bring along. It's not phony. Plus the walk around the actual waterfront is magical. I can only imagine more. I imagine the whole stretch filled with art shops, trinkets, an awesome place to buy fudge, a kiosk to pick up tickets to a play at the local theater on Main street, any style of band playing, Indian food, a shop for African spices, an awesome Slavic restaurant of some sort, a bright clean ice cream parlor with authentic splits,
a museum, maybe even catch a tour of the Suisun marsh on that awesome steam boat down there, to boil it all down, Solano culture, which to me means, every culture imaginable all combined into one.
Of course it wouldn't be like London, the ultimate melting pot, or New York, it would be the melting pot for everyday people. To me, I look at four neighbors and nod with approval. Pad Thai, a restaurant featuring Thai cuisine, AJ's Pub, one of the busy local bars for Suisun, which in my observation seems to be full of medium aged hard workinn people of Suisun, Sunset Bay Kayaks, which to me seems almost opposite demographics of AJ's Pub but what do I know, and the Waterfront Comic book store, which seems to somehow also be the opposite of everything else there. They are all within ten seconds on foot and they are all awesome additions to the Waterfront, and that's an example of what makes the potential the Waterfront so cool.
Fairfield is great, 100,000+ people live here. You can get what you need in Fairfield. It's where people live. But, it seems to me that the Waterfront is that bit of culture that isn't readily available in Fairfield. I don't know much about city dynamics, but I picture Fairfield getting a lot of money from people actually living there, but I picture Suisun getting a lot of money from people spending their money there. I don't know how to explain it, but maybe we can say the relationship would be similar to La Jolla's relationship with San Diego. People live in San Diego, but they eat in La Jolla. And if they live in La Jolla, wow. Frankly, I do think the Waterfront would be a nice place for a renaissance.