Thursday, September 22, 2005

cama, one dollar happy hour beers

there are so many bars in the mission it boggles the mind. despite living in this cornucopia of boozing establishments, i generally frequent the one closest to me, a mere half a block's staggering distance away. a bar whose name shall go unmentioned and who is not the topic of this post. there is a certain comfort in seeing the same drunks year after year, defying the surgeon general and general common sense by not looking that much the worse for wear than the rest of us. maybe the teeth, nails and vital organs a bit more on the yellow side along with a bleary-eyed aura of desperation, but hey, who can see such tiny details in a dark bar? anyway, my point being that i'm a lazy git and it takes something special to tear me away from my most local of locals. something special, or to be more to the precise, something specially cheap.

and that brings us to cama, "a modern day pause", whatever that means. all i know is that they have a cheap happy hour. one dollar pbr (pabst blue ribbon, for those of you who are too well bred to know) until 8pm. yep. i said one dollar. and i said 8pm. did i mention this comes in a pint glass and not one of those toddler-sized juice glasses? and from 5 till 7 (i think, don't quote me on this), they have two dollar well drinks. but the pbr is good and gassy and light and tasty and half the price.

cama inhabits the old dr. bombay's spot, that chilly, sodden old reject of a tiki bar that popped up, unluckily enough, between tiki bar trends. it is still chilly. downright cold, as a matter of fact. like a meatlocker. the interior is "arty", with skateboard art, pictures of donkeys with giant genitalia (to scale, in other words) and, oh the horror, a few rollerbladers painted in silhouette on some of the tables. what were they thinking? don't they know that putting skateboarders and "bladers" together is like holding a dual mime/clown convention? it can only end in bloodshed.

anyhoo, the space is kinda "arty" (in quotes because it feels like it's trying a little too hard), kinda "lounge-y" with built in sofa type things in the wall where the old booths used to be, definitly chilly enough to keep you awake, has a little smoking patio in the back (for all you degenerates), a video monitor and some good music playing on the hi-fi if you get the right bartender. on weekends during the daytime you might catch andrew whose i pod selection is so closely aligned with my tastes that i could almost proclaim him a genius, if i were a genius, that is. which i'm not. i mean, who plays marlene dietrich and radiohead and mr bungle back to back to back? someone other than your sophmore year special ed classmate, that is. not that i'm implying that you were in special ed...

i recommend this place cause: it's dark enough to make everyone look pretty; has cheap beers so that even people who don't look very good at first will, with the mere investment of a few slim dollars; it is never crowded; has a good sound system; and, most importantly of all, is a cheap way to get a little liquored up before heading off to face the anorexic, rictus smiling hostess of your overpriced, overhyped mission destination restaurant (take your pick starting with delfina and ending with tokyo go go). the beers go down just as well, if not better, before a slice of arinells or a supertaco...

cama bar
3102 16th street
san francisco
415 864 5255
citysearch review


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god. i walked into this place last weekend, lured by the happy hour special - and then kind of inched back out when i spotted the stencils on the table.

i will have to give it another shot.

9:54 AM  

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