June 30 2016 04:57 PM

The good, bad and ugly review of fancy theater food

One of many flatbread choices at The Lot
Photo courtesy of the Lot

As much as I love going to the movies, there's a lot that can be improved about the overall experience.

The seats can be uncomfortable, the food choices are usually limited, and rules against phone use mean I can't check Wikipedia if I see a character actor I recognize but can't name.

Oh, and society frowns on in-theater booty calls.

Little things like that are why many people prefer to watch films at home.

Some theater chains such as Cinepolis (12905 El Camino Real, Del Mar), ArcLight (4425 La Jolla Village Drive) and The Lot (7611 Fay Ave., La Jolla and 2620 Truxtun Road, Liberty Station) are hoping to provide a decent reason to come out to movie theaters again.

I somehow managed to avoid these new luxury theaters until a couple of weeks ago when I checked out The Lot at Liberty Station. For the most part, it's pretty sweet on a variety of levels.

The price of admission is pretty steep: $15 for adults—and that's just the theater's introductory price—but that gives you reclining seats and food options besides cold popcorn, stale pretzels and a box of Sour Patch Kids with enough citric acid to burn off your tongue.

Oh, and the best part: Liquor. Lots of it: cocktails, craft beer and wine that is a helluva lot better than the Two Buck Chuck I usually sneak in with a Bota bag.

I wanted to experience The Lot under game conditions so I made sure to pick a movie that wouldn't be too good or too bad to affect the appearance. I saw Central Intelligence, a Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson action comedy whose title I forgot during the movie.

Perfect choice.

Here are some things you should know about The Lot Liberty Station:

The Good:

Great food choices. I especially enjoyed the Shishito Peppers ($8), which were perfectly charred with just some salt flavoring and a sriracha mayo dipping sauce. My wife was very happy with the asparagus salad ($11), which came with a duck egg on top. Certainly healthier than the Sour Patch kids.

Great drink choices. I enjoyed both a margarita ($14) and a Fiji water while my wife was very happy with A Day At The Spa ($14), a version of the Mojito, but with cucumber.

Nice reclining seats. Seriously. The seats recline all the way back so I could look at the ceiling if I wanted. Although Central Intelligence was fair, there were times when staring at the ceiling would have been better.

Table service. It's pretty cool to have a server cater to your every whim.

The Bad:

Not every food choice was stellar. The bacon and Brussel sprouts flatbread sounded good, but I didn't taste much bacon in it.

The seats make this annoying fart sound when you recline them. At quiet moments during the film, it sounded like the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles.

The Ugly:

My shirt after I tried to eat the flatbread while slightly reclining in the seat. The stains haven't come out yet.

A few nitpicky points aside, I'd definitely come back to The Lot and try out the other theaters, but it's still expensive enough that I would save it for special occasions like birthdays or the opening of the next Star Wars movie.


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