It's been a long time since there's been an Azerbaijani café in sleepy south Kensington. So when my friend Brian and I were bombing down Ditmas Avenue the other day and saw "Kavkaze" ("Caucasian") stenciled on a blue awning, we screeched to a halt. The place was called Sim-Sim ("Sesame" in Arabic), and the interior looked like the Jersey version of a Roman bathhouse, with arches of Garden State brickface held up by golden Doric columns. Need I tell you that, in the style of former-Soviet restaurants, a disco ball dangled overhead? At the end of the room, twin oil paintings showed a thatched cottage overhanging a millrace next to a cityscape of Baku, the country's capital on the Caspian Sea, where oil wells sprout like gray lilies... More >>>