Pictures, Vids and Other Non-Writing Excuses
"It's been a long year. A lot of restaurants close the first year. And I'm proud to say that, so far, no checks have bounced." For a chef of few words, it was swell to see Chef Ross Pangilinan take the lead on a bubbly toast during Friday night's dinner...
Disclaimer: The Chef's Dinner is a monthly series held on the last Wednesday of each month. Its first service debuted last week in Long Beach. Chef de Cuisine Eric Samaniego teams up with a fellow chef of his choosing, creating a prix fixe meal (with optional wine pairing) for the evening...
Communities around Orange County mourn their loved ones differently, but Chicanos hold a specific ritual: a car wash. Family and friends donate their time and energy to raise funds to cover the cost of a
funeral,and more. This practice is deridedcountywide as ghetto, inefficient and something only “ cholos” would dare host. But they're far more tender and moving than outsiders will ever bother to know.
The most recent such car wash happened this Sunday for Isaac Gonzalez, an aspiring 15-year-old boxer shot dead in the streets of
SanTanalast month while walking in a residential area. Adults and teens not only washed cars but also held a kermés—a street festival where vendors sold tacos, burgers, and Mexican botanas. Isaac's young friends broke a sweat washing and drying cars,while dancing to rap, corridos, funk, oldies and soul. But most of the time, no laughter could be heard from the youth—just rags hitting the roof of cars, and directions yelled at the drivers. “It’s hard to have fun," said one volunteer, "when you are reminded of why you are here."
Despite the sadness and tears, the economic potential of a community united around a cause was impressive. In the food lines, I witnessed mothers tell their children they could only afford one taco for each family member because they didn’t have much to spend. The sacrifice was in
solidarity,because they knew this tragedy could happen to any of their children, especially with murders in SanTanamaking long-time residents fear a repeat of the blood-soaked 1990s.
But the kermés car wash for Isaac offered hope: In just seven days, supporters raised $12,000 on
a’sGoFundMe page, while over 2,000 people attended the car wash. “Thank you all for being here," an old veterano, Modelo in hand, kept telling the crowd around him. "This is for Isaac. I am sorry you have fallen to the unfair gang violence in this city.”
Isaac’s goals and ambitions meant different things to everyone present. May his legacy,
spiritand power not have been in vain.
Two restaurants with very different cuisines happen to have something in common: They both opened in Arcadia before migrating to Orange County. HaiDiLao Fusion Shabu soft opened this month inside Brea Mall. Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant is in a busy Irvine plaza. Now if you tried searching their respective websites, you'll...