Before she became the lead singer of the internationally known rock band Dengue Fever, Chhom Nimol lived in a gritty neighborhood most people in Long Beach (not to mention the rest of Southern California) might not realize even exists. It's called Cambodia Town and it boasts the largest population of Cambodians outside Southeast Asia and France. The neighborhood is easy to miss, stretching along the north side of Anaheim Street between Atlantic and Junipero Aves.
With the recent release of the band's fifth album, the wonderfully moody and psychedelic The Deepest Lake–which finds the band at the height of their songwriting and performing prowess–we figured it'd be a great time to check out Nimol's old haunts.
After a delicious meal at Sophy's Fine Thai & Cambodian Cuisine, we checked out a hole-in-the-hall music shop that happens to be the epicenter of the Khmer-language music world, Sarika Entertainment, where Nimol gave us a private performance of a classic Cambodia karaoke song. Next, we checked out a fantastic bridal shop called Srey's Boutique (it also carries traditional men's clothing and krama scarves), before joining Nimol for a quick prayer stop at a local Cambodian temple.
Enjoy the tour and be sure to catch Dengue Fever at the Observatory's Burgerama Festival, Sunday March 29.