Monday, 28 November 2011

Baja Room, El Camion, Soho 17/20*

Location: 25-27 Brewer Street, Soho. Its just inside El Camion restaurant and down the stairs on the right

Visit: Various Saturday nights

To Note? Its open till 3am with no entry charge!

Ambaince 5/5
Design 4/5
Drinks 4/5
Staff 4/5
Extra LBS Star: * for playing Shake Shake Shake Senora, twice

“I only found it because you mentioned the sex shops!” declared one friend on arrival. That’s right; not only does the neon pink cactus outside look like a, well not like a cactus, but it is very cosily sandwiched between two of Soho’s largest sex shops and just a few doors down from Cocks, Cookies and Cakes – a great cupcake store with a twist. Once you find their door (there is a fair bit of scaffolding around it just now) then go in and take the steep stairs on your right down to the Baja Room.
This little nightclub runs till 3am with no entry charge and you can get food from the upstairs restaurant up to a decent hour of the night too. There is table service yet no service charge however we found it quicker, even early in the evening, to take your order to the bar.

You won’t have a long walk back to your table, this place is compact. We took a booth in the upstairs area (being up about 4 steps) which fits 8 at a squeeze and the table just outside for another 4 people. There is a similar booth beside it and two further large tables “downstairs”. How many people can the Baja Room take? 100 max, it was rather hot! The d├ęcor is simple “Mexican” but blessedly short of garish bright paint jobs or cactus, just stylish. The drinks menu covers an excellent range of Mexican beers (~£4), cocktails (classics and a lovely coconut/cachaca selection at ~£8) and a fabulous list of top notch tequilas. Simple food can be ordered to accompany the drinks too.

The staff were great, coping very well with the office overbooking their space and we were more than happy to squeeze up so that another group could take one of our tables that was further away. There were two girls taking orders from the floor but they were run ragged trying to get round all the different groups so we just made use of the bar, and the excellent bar tenders happy to make what you fancy with Margaritas available at least three ways.

The crowd was an odd mix of Clark-Kent-glasses-wearing media loves, a couple of birthday parties, some jeans and t-shirts and everyone hitting the “dancefloor” with relish! And the highlight of the evening – the music. An utterly bizaree yet truly inspirationally brilliant selection that started the evening with some chart trash, moved into 50’s rock’n’roll to get us on our feet, passed through some 80’s classics like “Shake Shake Shake” and Boy George and finished with 90’s hip hop by the time we left at 2am. I barely sat down.

What makes this place so special? Soho is a strange one with a real mix of people, nationalities, sexualities… but the Baja Room is just an unpretentious little hang out to dance your socks off and enjoy some fine drinks at very good prices. And the staff are truly outstanding.

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