Stax steps into the Happy Place in Phnom Penh, only to find herself in the world’s first Aussie-run, Cambodian-Californian fusion, fair-trade organic shade-grown New Guinea coffee-brewing, and American honkytonk music- playing burger joint.
When I close my eyes, I could almost swear (if I were the swearing type) that I’m in a honky-tonk bar. Country and western twang, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley tunes drift languidly on the a/c currents circulating about the room.
When I open my eyes, I see the restaurant’s dedication to East and West Coast styles of the U.S.: The noodle/juice/coffee bar is so California, while the modernist look with its clean lines, simple white and green color palette accentuating concrete floors and wood paneled walls remind me of places I’ve been to in NYC.
Stepping outside of the air-conditioned building, I’m knocked over the head with heat. I breathe in thick, humid air, tasting bits of dust and oil as motorbikes buzz and whir by. I’m definitely in Phnom Phen.