It happened so slowly it seemed unnoticeable, but as one food stall after another called it quits, the writing on the wall became more obvious: Cafe Court was dying.
If your office wasn't nearby — like say within the area bordered by Redhill, Alton, Jamboree and Barranca — you probably didn't realize a food court was even there (behind the Sam's Club on Von Karman and Barranca).
Neither did I. And when I did, I wasn't initially impressed. Here's what I said about in a blog post dated August 5, 2005:
“Regretfully, a while ago, I tried food from an Indian stall there. Their chicken tikka masala, which looked like vomit, also tasted like it. I also think that it was their saag paneer which gave me food poisoning that night. Fortunately, the Indian place has gone out of business since then, but unfortunately I have a feeling that an equally horrid replacement is on the way.”
But then I discovered Zesty Thai, which quickly became my favorite place to get pad see ew, made to order in minutes by a warm Thai mother. It was the best, smokiest pad see ew I've ever had before or since. I was there twice a week, sometimes three. That is, until the original owners sold it to a new family. It never was the same after that. So I stopped coming.
By the time I revisted Cafe Court, about a month ago, there were two stalls left. Zesty Thai was long gone. All that remained was a Chinese take-out joint called Teriyaki Inn (yeah, I know) and the other…well, I can't even remember. The rest was shuttered up like a self-storage yard in a deserted, post-apocalyptic ghost town.
I heard that the place finally bit the dust last week. So I came back once more to pay my respects and take a few photos for this eulogy.
So, rest in peace Cafe Court: I can't say I'll miss you, but I will remember the pad see ew.