I couldn't stand this party, which seemed like a Fabrika live performance, so I proposed that we escape to somewhere more classy and pleasant rather then Ten'.
Alexei understood my concerns about the Chinese hordes overrunning Russia, so he took me to check their new outpost at the edge of Novy Arbat, a place called Lotte Plaza.
I've seen a lot of movies about the rich decorations inside of Chinese Emperors' temples, so this ornate plaza didn't really surprise me. Its museum-like boutiques didn't impress me either, nor Alexei, but in general the interior decorations looked very rich. The one thing that surprised me was how Koreans put their strange dry foods at the entrance to their supermarkets, as if their dry foods are somehow on the same level as Russian elitny food from Azbuka Vkusa.
There were rows of shitty dried fish and seafood attracting Russian customers by the unusual look and smell. But I'm smart enough to see through their sly strategy. Smiling Korean (Chinese?) girls are trying to lure me away from buying my Russian kefir. Instead, they want me to buy their dried octopus or dried cuttlefish and to make soup with it. But I did it: I bought some dried shrimps. A few minutes later I realized that the stink of dried shrimps coming from the bag was unbearable.
Anyway, dried food is not the real reason to visit the Lotte Plaza. The glass elevator took us to the top floor in few seconds, and let us off at the bourgeois Kalina Bar on the 21st floor. The Koreans were smart enough to place a restaurant in such a strategic place. You can look down at all of our secret strategic buildings while sitting there pretending you're a regular customer. Like you can see all the satellite dishes on the Ministry for Defense or count all the Gazprom ads around Moscow.
The babe factor was very hot. Tables and tables packed with three-girls-and-a-bottle-of-champagne. Russia is a country of lonely hearts. Especially on St. Valentine's day.
A night spent in the company of auditors going wild tasting the wide selection of drinks was one of the best things I've ever observed. Sitting next to the window with such a spectacular view, feeling up the soft and juicy Larissa (still I didn't figure out what her "Transactory Advisor" title on her business card means), I felt like a king of the world. The Russian world, which is not as Russian as it used to be with all these dried shrimps in my bag, a Miller (not Zhigulevskoye) in my glass and desperate dyevs who burn their youth for American corporations. But when you are a king, these tiny details play no role. Pleasure is more important.
Club: Kalina Bar
Address: 8, Novinskiy Boulevard (Lotte Plaza, 21 floor).
Hours: 11:00 – 06:00, daily