I have the wonderful privilege of being the first to blog about this lovely place. Soon to open in Laoag is another café by restaurateur Sammy Blas, the man behind the highly successful Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant and Bar, Saramsam Too and Balay da Blas Pensionne House.
Sam temporarily opened his new baby, a coffee-dessert place, for a brainstorming session with our little group of environment advocates.
Why Kamarin? “Because it is a dying word. As you can see, it’s a bodega, a sosyal bodega,” Sam answered. An Ilocano word for warehouse — that’s kamarin. Select Ilocos products, antiques and novelty items, sourced by Sam himself, fill the walls; thus, making it look, well, like a storage place. I spotted Claude Tayag’s famous XO Sauce among the food products neatly stacked on the shelves.
The retro feel to the café is just too cool. It’s Ilocano, but it has that unmistakable Californian vibe, at least, to me. It must be the eclectic mix of kitschy furniture, grandma crocheted table covers and exotic abel Iloco that resembles Mexican fabric.
Sam’s table setting is always pretty. For our dinner, he came up with his signature fusion cuisine.
I’m looking forward to visiting this rockin’ place anew when it opens… thrilled to check out the new menu.
Kamarin Café and House of Pasalubong is located along Gen. Segundo Ave. (former Bacarra Rd.) near the Divine Word College of Laoag.