December 6th, 2004


It's official...

Linda (penelopecat) informed me on Friday that the city council approved the sale of the property of Fung Lum Restaurant, where she practically grew up. Her father's family has owned Fung Lum restaurants for about 50 years I think, first in China, then expanding I think to Hong Kong and Singapore, and ultimately to the U.S. with two restaurants.

The one near Universal Studios in Hollywood closed down a couple years ago, and now, so is the one in Campbell, California (next to San Jose), at the end of January. They've owned and operated this one since the late '70s at least, because I've always remembered one of their old TV commercials, in which Linda's uncle says, in his thick Chinese accent, "So come to Fung Lum, on Bascom Avenue!" Then a voice asks, "How do you say that, again?" He responds, "BASCOM AVENUE!"

It's sad to see it go. It's the most amazing Chinese restaurant I've ever seen, with ornately carved sculpture along the roof, even Chinese style fixtures on the lights in the parking lot, fish ponds surrounding the building on two sides, another pond inside with a waterfall and a bridge that goes over the pond into one of the business conference rooms where bigwigs can take their clients or staff (the conference rooms even have telephones in them to make those important deals!), the most amazing wood sculpture inside the bar, and beautiful painted glass everywhere, gold-leaf inlay across the entire roof, and on, and on, and on... Linda told me when we first met that her family owned a Chinese restaurant, but I of course assumed it was your average little mom'n'pop place. Imagine my surprise when she took me there for the first time! Apparently, everything in there was imported from China, so it's all authentic. (Some restaurant reviewer called it ostentatious!)

Since they've owned the land all this time, well before the Santa Clara Valley become better known as Silicon Valley, I'm sure they must have done well on the deal... The buyers are going to build apartments or condos on the land. One cool thing, though, is that they're going to call the complex "Maple Grove" which is what "Fung Lum" means in Chinese.

So you've all got a month and a half to see the place for yourselves, or see it one last time. I know a few of you will be in town in mid-January for Further Confusion, so there's your chance! The decor is not the only aspect of the place that's on a much higher level; the food also is excellent.

Now Linda and I have to figure out where we will have our wedding reception when we are finally able to get married. It's always been something of a given that we'd have it at the restaurant (though she says she's sick of family events happening there!).