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Monterey Park

March 19th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

The color swatches are my tinkering with the colors from a recent outing. We can call it a color narrative. From left to right: Peri-Blue, Lino Green, Samarkand Rose, Cash Register Gray & Froggy Yellow.

These go far into the dusty muted colors of the Omega & Bloomsbury which I have been loving recently as opposed to the bright not unlike Easter colors of the Shanghaiese restaurant (I’m told if you are in the know it is referred to as Wu Cuisine which is the regional name in the classic tradition) It was last Friday evening and I was in Monterey Park. The restaurant was painted two colors that although at odds with each other somehow worked. The space felt soft, relaxed and fresh even with all the tables full and staff running about.

The industrial works at the lofty ceiling had been painted out a periwinkle blue which wrapped down the walls about three feet. Below the walls were soft lavender. The floors had an industrial dark gray green carpet and the benches in the waiting area were upholstered in mint green vinyl. White commercially laundered tablecloths were on round tables that were packed comfortably together. The colors help to set off the colors of our food like the orange of the pumpkin and glutinous rice cakes the pink of the shrimp and the bright green of the loofa.

On the walls, decoration, the tiered red and gold printed Chun Lian were hanging from the ceiling welcoming the Spring and there was an appropriate amount of beaded screens made out of some kind of faux raffia in bright orange and hot pink at the door openings, as if someone might have said about their placement, “They will visually screen the dining room but not make the space feel heavy.”

The standard-light-bulb-shaped-pendant fixtures were spaced out evenly on a grid pattern and the bright whiteness of the glow matched the rice cakes. The whole place had a delightfully non existent approach to “art” and in the toilet there was a surprising lack of granite of juxtaposed colors that seem to be favored in many of the restaurants that I have visited in Monterey Park.

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