Sunday, March 16, 2008

Clearly, I Don't Know My Own Power

When I was mentally making my list of pros and cons to staying in Los Angeles, I felt a little guilty there were so few items on the pro list aside from friends. So, I added my two favorite restaurants, Sebastian's and Killer Shrimp, to the list. Little did I know that by doing so I had sealed their fate forever.

Sebastian's was the neighborhood restaurant that I fell in love with. I would eat there several times a week and then slowly decreased as time went on, but always made an effort to go at least once a month if only to pick up something. I made friends with the owners and talked to them on a regular basis. My favorite chef, Gordon Ramsey, even shot an episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" there. Sebastian's was the only restaurant they featured that wasn't dirty or had molding food. The last time I ate there was actually the night that episode premiered on Fox. We had the most amazing food and all in all it was a great time. I had no idea it would be my last visit there.

I knew something was up when I noticed they had a sign saying they would be closed during the holidays. They had never closed before and I thought it was a little odd. The sign came down, but they seemed closed every time I drove by. I called and the answering machine said they had cut their hours down to just dinner service. Then they sent an email explaining that the owner's parents were in failing health, they would be closing the restaurant permanently and moving back to Boston. They would close their doors after one night of all you can eat for $10 on a Sunday night. I sent an email and rallied the troops. Sadly, there was another note saying unforeseen circumstances lead to them closing immediately.

I was bummed. This was one of my favorite hang outs and it was gone just like that without a proper send off. I took it as yet another sign to leave Los Angeles. I jokingly said that I feared for Killer Shrimp now since the universe is so intent on me leaving.

I have been going to Killer Shrimp since I first moved to Los Angeles in 1997. They only serve one dish (very large shrimp marinaded in a cajun broth) with three variations - with bread, with rice or with pasta. It's been the traditional place to go when you want to catch up with friends or celebrating birthdays with a small group. I used to pick it up sometimes and eat it at home. I loved the stuff.

One night after work, I had a craving for it. I called information and got the number. It rang with no answer and no machine picked up. I drove by and the place was dark. I peeked in and all the furniture was gone and the sign had been removed from the front of the building. I couldn't believe it. I hopped on the internets and not a word about it except that both locations had closed.

The freakiest part was that this happened ten days after Sebastian's closed. Ten days after I joked that the universe was getting rid of my reasons for staying. I have killed my two favorite restaurants! I didn't even get to say goodbye to either of them properly. So sad. Well, they are crossed off the list of reasons to stay. Tally Ho! North I Go!

In memoriam, here is a photo of two of my goodest friends on one of the bestest nights ever at Sebastian's:

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