King Genghiskhan Japanese Bar. B. Q. Buffet House in Cypress is closed. If it doesn't ring a bell, Genghiskhan was located directly across from Forest Lawn. When it debuted long ago, it was, I believe, one of only a few DIY tabletop BBQ joints in Orange County. It had to have been in business for more than twenty-five years, because it was about twenty years ago that I ate there as a youngster.
Even back then, it was divey. The patent leather chairs were sticky, as were the tables. The place was so smoky, everything you wore, every inch of you, down to the roots of your hair, reeked of BBQ by the time you were done. But it was cheap (recent reports have it that their prices never went up past $9.99 for lunch and $12.99 for dinner). And if you stuck to the basics, it was good. For a budding foodie, it formed lasting memories.
Recently as I drove by, before I realized it was closed for good, I made a note to myself to go back again. But then I saw that it was dark around prime dining hours. The only souls in that empty parking lot were two gents who were getting ready to put up a large banner in front of the restaurant, probably announcing what would replace it. I didn't stick around to see what it would be. It was just too sad.
Today I tried calling the number. It was disconnected. So long King Genghiskhan. As your namesake, you will be remembered…at least by me.