Blaise, left, with his experimental hip hop duo BLOK
Blaise, left, with his experimental hip hop duo BLOK
Photo courtesy of BLOK

Mind Food Is Kind of Like Taking Drugs

It's hard to plan a perfect date. Relying on stale routines does little to stimulate conversation, let alone romantic chemistry. Mind Food at The Crosby in Santa Ana, however, is a change of pace from the cliché dinner and a movie, as it's designed to tap into sensory stimulation. Damien Blaise, best known for his work in the experimental hip hop act BLOK and for publishing the collection of art Axis Unchained, curated Mind Food's psychedelic date night. He describes the one night only project as "The Rainforest Café meets A Clockwork Orange meets Tron." Consider us intrigued.

The September 25th event features a full menu from The Crosby, along with art installations, electronic music, animated projections and tailored lighting. The restaurant will be fully operational, with the addition of the Mind Food enhancements. Various sculptures and pieces of art will be viewable from every table, and six DJs, including Blaise,will trade off performing ambient music. The mid-volume sounds will span multiple genres and pull from global influences.

The displays feature selections from artists whose work appeared in outlets including The Cartoon Network, Vice Magazine and Axis Unchained. Artist Teppei Maki offers a technical element with his 3-D mapping project, which will project images onto 3-D objects and take on different patterns and textures. If the agenda for the evening sounds a bit trippy, Blaise's intentions are being well received.

"The point is to create something stimulating and tasteful outside of your normal experience that you can't get anywhere else," Blaise says. "Sometimes when people think of new experiences or something outside their everyday life, they think of drugs. But you can get the same results and do it in a way where you're in control, conscious, and you remember it all."

Though Blaise's outer dimensional date night sound like a scene from a Hunter S. Thompson novel, there's something appealing about fusing a forward thinking restaurant with artistic ingenuity. The Crosby's location in the artist's village, coupled with its edgy reputation, make it the ideal location for the one-off event. Considering The Crosby's history of supporting local entertainment, there's also potential of Mind Food becoming a reoccurring experience.

But why target couples for the sensory adventure? Blaise says it stems from his desire to create something people can share and engage over. Though bringing a date is encouraged, he assures that Mind Food will appeal to everyone. And while the components are progressive, Blaise maintains that he's crafting the evening with underlying elegance and a non-intrusive nature.

"A lot of elegant things have a tendency to be over done or sterile. This is going to have more personality, but still be tasteful. But this isn't a snooty gallery kind of vibe where you go and talk quietly, and have a little bit of cheese and leave. This is to hang out and chill in another world."

Sounds like a trip worth taking.

Reservations for all size parties are encouraged. Free, all ages. September 25, 8p.m. to 2am. The Crosby 400 N. Broadway Santa Ana, CA 92701, (714) 543-3543

More info on Damian Blaise here.

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