Little Italy: 750 W Fir St Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92101
North Park: 3000 Upas St, San Diego, CA 92104
Meet Kenny Leath. This guy is legendary in the punk/hardcore scene. He’s known for appearing in TV show, “Warped Roadies.” The show followed the roadies of Van’s annual Warped Tour which happens every summer all over the country. Tons of bands – generally from the punk/hardcore scene – travel around putting on big all-day long shows for their fans. Several stages are scattered around and it’s up to the fans to find the time and stage that their bands are playing at and on. So who’s Kenny? He’s Main Stage Manager. At each Warped Tour there are bands selected to play on the “Main Stage.” Basically, only the cooler bands get to play on it. It’s a big deal. Kenny doesn’t just work with Warped Tour but several events, concerts, and tours that require the set-up and take-down expertise of Kenny Leath. So, what’s he got to do with Underbelly? Well, one day…. he took me there.
Guys, let me just preface the following story with this: “This was THEE most random day of my entire life and I’m still not entirely sure how the events of this day even unfolded; it’s just SO random.” Great. Let’s move on.
I’m a poser. I go to Warped Tour all the time with my sister, a real fan, but I just go so she won’t go alone and because posing is so much fun. I pick a band that I decide I’ll be crazy about and boy do I commit. Two years ago, I was a “We Came As Romans” fan. I bought a shirt, paid $10 for their album because that qualified me to take a picture with them, met them, blah blah blah. I didn’t know their names or any of their songs, and I don’t even listen to this genre of music. Yeah, I heard of their band but I was not a loyal fan. The top right picture below is me with them! On the bottom right is me with Family Force 5 from the first year I went to warped tour. The bottom left is just me randomly with some of Rob Dyrdek’s skater crew people (it’s only included because I wanted to show off my signature ‘famous person’ pose).
At the last warped tour I went to (not photographed above), I met Kenny Leath. I posed like a fan then, and I posed with him earlier this year when I went to Underbelly with him. I have a twisted hobby of interacting with famous people, whether or not I care who they are. I’ve had several fun interactions. After warped tour, I often will follow a lot of the band members on Instagram. I decided to follow Kenny. One day this fall year I noticed one of his pictures was taken on Sunset Cliffs here in San Diego. I use to live right off of that street so I was shocked. I commented no the photo and all I said was something to the effect of, “Oh my gosh! I live around there and I just passed there earlier. Darn, just missed ya!” To my surprise he actually commented back. He let me know he would be there again tomorrow night and I jokingly came back with, “Yeah sure, I’ll pitch a tent and wait for ya.” Shortly after he DM’d me on Insta with his phone number and told me to let him know when I’m around there and he will make sure to meet me. What the heck? uhhhhh. I found it a wee bit sketchy but for some reason that didn’t stop me. The next morning he text me and asked if I was awake. It as around 11am so… gross, yes, of course I’m awake. We found out we were BASICALLY neighbors and decided to meet at a Starbucks nearby. Guys…. SO RANDOM! Sure enough, as I pull in, I see his Harley parked outside. I go inside and lo and behold, the giant Kenny stood before me. We sat and talked for a while about what he does and about the industry, music, and how he is trying to quit smoking. After we’re done chatting it up, we go back outside to head our separate ways. Let’s skip over the details… I somehow ended up on his bike. I am miss goodie good, conservative fun, read my bible at a coffee shop so this was so far out of my element and that’s pretty much why I wanted to do it. At first it was a firm, “No way!” but then he just drove me around the parking lot to build my confidence and soon I was sold. I think his biggest selling point was, “we can drive up to James Coffee Co.” The opportunity to blow all their minds rolling in with Kenny Leath? Sure. Why not?
We did go to James Coffee Co. and their faces were in fact quite priceless. Several times since that day I’ve received jokes about going on a date with the old guy, or they revisit the question, “WTF were you doing with Kenny Leath?” Get’s me every time. Truth be told, I have no clue what I was doing with him! Kenny told shop owner, David Kennedy that it was my first time on a bike so David suggested a cruise over and through Coronado. I was horrified. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and I was ready to go home. Nope. We cruised for quite some time, then we stopped at Underbelly.
Though, I was progressively getting sketched out the further from home we rode, it WAS really fun and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Few can say they a.) rode on a motorcycle b.) met Kenny Leath c.) rode on a motorcycle with Kenny Leath or d.) that they are one of two girls that have ridden on that bike. One of the best parts though? Discovering Underbelly.
I’m obsessed with Pho. If we’re ever on a game show and they ask the million dollar question: What is Alicia’s favorite food? Pho would be a pretty safe answer. I had seen a picture of Underbelly on Kenny’s Instagram account and I was so excited to try some. We had discovered our mutual love for Ramen and Pho back at Starbucks.
This was the delicious bowl I had with Kenny Leath at their North Park location. They’re also located in Little Italy. I visited the Little Italy location with my sister and our friend Helen recently when my sister came to visit me in SD:
With Kenny I had “The Underbelly” and with my sister I had “The Belly of the Beast.” I personally preferred the underbelly. We also go these little pork bun things – wish I could remember what they’re called but they’re AMAZING. You must try them if you go here 😉
Ah, so there you have it. The best way to enjoy Ramen is with Kenny Leath on his Harley.