I only knew the bad (i.e. swear) words in Tagalog growing up, and they all resurfaced when I walked up to Manila Groove in Tustin yesterday to find the place locked up and desolate inside, save for some take-out containers on the ground.
In business for six years, my closest outlet for familial cooking is few
and far between in the center of the county. Sure, I could drive to Anacrime for Jollibee
(which I don't really care for), and Edwin reminded me that Pinoy Pam's
Best is only in Lake Forest. But I liked the convenience, dammit. Most
cuisines have a certain amount of representation, even neighborhoods,
in OC. Yet Filipino is not one of them.
They were kind enough to update their website with the following message:
“After six years of bringing you home cooked Filipino food and services, Manila Groove Restaurant is closing its doors indefinitely, effective today, 1st of February, 2012.
Thank you so much for the support you have given us. Maraming salamat po.”
While the operating hours are listed as CLOSED, the catering menu and email remain active.
Comment that I should go to Cerritos, or that Manila Groove wasn't that good; when a pork product or palabok craving hit, it was waiting in the steam tray for me. With all the other cuisines I love, this is what I grew up on. And like that Emma Stone SNL skit, I got depressed when Adele started playing on the radio.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.