UC Irvine and the neighborhood around it, who have recently lost Britta's Cafe and are about to lose Steelhead, will see another departure: Asia Noodle Cafe. A fixture of that plaza since it was still called Market Place, the restaurant will be calling it quits after 19 years. It put a note on the door on college ruled paper with this announcement
“Asia Noodle Cafe will be closing down in the near future. We do not have a full staff, so your orders will not come out in the (5) minutes it used to. We appreciate your patience. Thank you for letting us serve you for the past (19) years! ANC.”
A friend of mine, upon tipping us off on the news, wasn't nearly as broken up as he was about Steelhead, where he has vowed to eat every day until it finally shutters in October. But Asia Noodle Cafe holds a special place in my memories: it was the first non-dorm-cafeteria food I had as a freshman Anteater. I had the pad Thai.
In those days, there was no Lee's Sandwiches (it was a Hamburger Hamlet), the other Asian place in the plaza was a fancy Americanized Chinese restaurant called Chinatown, and an ambitious but ultimately ill-fated nightclub called Metropolis was just starting out. Yes, kids, there was once an actual nightclub in Irvine.