Famed “real” scientist Daniel Faraday once explained that when you are lost, you look for a constant. For almost 15 years of my life, there was a place in Studio City called Henry’s Tacos that helped me find my way when I was lost. Henry’s Tacos was my constant.
I love that way it had my back through bad times and good. I love the way it was a place that held a community together. I love the way it felt like home.
I did this trick when I was in high school where I was super cool and not weird all the time
I started eating at Henry’s Tacos in 1999. Almost 15 years ago. I loved it in elementary school. I loved it in middle school. I loved it when I was an awkward teenager who fell asleep on the school bus and had weird bald spots on the top of my disgusting afro.
Henry’s was there all through high school, and it was there all through college. It was there the day I came back home to celebrate graduating from college, and it was there the day I went out to celebrate getting my first real big-boy job. It’s always been there, and it’s always been oh so perfect. Our initial courtship is more adorable than the cute parts of Blue Valentine and Like Crazy combined. And spoiler alert, the turnout is just as depressing.
Henry’s was built in 1961. It preceded the very first Taco Bell, and it was the first real “gringo” taco. Since it’s so old and fantastic, it was about to become an LA landmark. And if that were to happen it couldn’t be torn down, and the rent couldn’t be raised.
And when talk of this wonderful news for Henry’s arose, landlord Mehran Ebrahimpour decided to be the Grinch Who Stole Henry’s. He wanted a business that he could raise the rent on and keep making more and more money from.
And now Henry’s is gone.
Despite the efforts of owner Janice Hood, Henry’s is gone. Actors Aaron Paul and Elijah Wood even tried to organize one final show of support for Henry’s, in which hundreds of people came out to eat tacos and support. I myself camped out for almost 6 hours to join in the support, and hope the landlord would back down.
But it turns out that Mehran Ebrahimpour’s heart is about as black as rookie Kobe’s afro, and none of it mattered to him.
So now it’s gone, and I feel like I’m going through a breakup with the girl I thought I was gonna marry. Except instead of a girl, it’s a guy named Henry. And instead of a guy named Henry, it’s a bunch of greasy food from a shack that a guy named Henry made.
I’d be lying if I said I never thought about the day when I could take my kids to Henry’s Tacos. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at the picture above their menu of the couple that got married there and wonder if one day my wife would ever even allow such a thing. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear or two about the whole situation.
I love you, Henry’s. With all of my heart. And in (some of) the words of a very smart dolphin,
and thanks for all the tacos.