Posted by Jenna Makowski / Friday, September 21st, 2012
I was prepared for The Junk.
“Do you want chocolate on that?” the server asked, pointing at my bowl of potato chips, pretzels and other sundry snacking items.
Correct answer: yes.
“How about some caramel?”
Silly question. Pour away.
The guy standing next to me in line grimaced. Apparently he hadn’t been briefed by Chef Lee Anne Wong, of Top Chef fame, about The Junk in all of its three-topping glory.
“The Junk,” Wong had elucidated, “is a late night movie-going fantasy.” The bowl of potato chips, popcorn, pretzels and rice crispie treats topped with dark chocolate ganache, salted peanut butter caramel and bacon bits is a junk food junkie’s dream. “It’s basically what I used to eat in high school,” laughed Wong. Weren’t those the days?
It may sound like nothing more than a bizarre twist on your typical artery-clogging cinema fare (that’s the point). But The Junk is actually an outlier on the menu at the Angelika Film Center & Café.
Angelika opens today as one of the first retail outlets in Fairfax’s new Mosaic District. The Angelika sprawls across three levels of a sparkly, glass-enclosed complex. Sandwiched between a ground-floor café and a chic third-floor lounge, the 8-screen cinema complex will follow in the Angelika tradition of offering art, independent and specialty films, as well as food and drink to enhance and enrich the experience. Say they’ll be showing a special French film series; expect some French fare in the café.
But the philosophy of the Angelika Mosaic menu, created entirely by Wong, runs even deeper. “I wanted to give movie-goers flavorful, healthier options,” she explained. “I love to go see movies, but I don’t want to eat something heavy and greasy and not good for me.”
So Wong created a menu with offerings like: a wasabi chicken breast sandwich, “It’s stupid good,” she warns. There’s also a black forest ham sandwich with St. Andre triple cream cheese on a sweet Hawaiian roll, cheese plates and Korean deviled eggs.
For nostalgic movie-goers, the concession stand will sell Wong’s unique twists on traditional cinema snacks. Think hot dogs topped with kimchi slaw or black bean and corn salsa. There are also four types of artisan popcorn (go for the Pizza Italiano or the Tandoori) and nachos made with blue corn chips and topped with cheese, black beans or guacamole. (The concession stand is also where The Junk lives.)
A full wine and beer list rounds out the menu. And yes, you can eat and drink in the theater. In fact, you’re expected to. They provide trays.
The concession stand and a limited café menu will be in full swing tonight as the Angelika Film Centre & Café opens to the public. The café menu will continue to expand in the coming weeks. It will also shift with the seasons, incorporating local produce when possible.
For a full listing of shows and times, check out the Angelika Mosaic site.