MBFCarl and I go way back - about 20 years back. We went to college together, and over the years we've gone through the kinds of tumult that make or break friendships, so of course I was thinking "oh no, someone's dead." In a way, I was right.
For more than a decade, whenever we drove down PCH in Torrance toward Lomita, we'd pass Beijing Islamic Restaurant. And whenever we saw it, we'd think to ourselves "What does that even mean?" It took us that entire decade to get up the courage to step foot inside and find out what it meant. It meant regular Chinese food, only the dishes that would normally be made with pork were made with lamb - sweet & sour lamb, mushu lamb, lamb fried rice...you get the picture.
The last time I went to Beijing Islamic was on my wedding night. The Pirate and I were married on Christmas of 2003, and the entire wedding thing was so stressful to both of us that we didn't eat a bite all day. I think we each had one bite of the red velvet wedding cake with white fondant icing, but that was just for the pictures. I couldn't tell you what it tasted like. Afterward, the Pirate and I realized that we were starving. It was 9:00 Christmas night, and of course, NOTHING was open.
Except Beijing Islamic.
There were happy little non-Christmas-celebrating families enjoying a lovely meal together who barely looked at the very tall man in a dashing suit and the woman wearing a full-length green velvet dress. I couldn't tell you what I had, but I know that it was yummy - the first peaceful moment of an otherwise chaotic day.
And now, it's gone. Beijing Islamic is no more; it's been replaced by Shah Tandoori Grill.
I'm having a moment of silence.