NO PLACE LIKE L.A. IS OUR SERIES THAT ASKS L.A. TRANSPLANTS AND IMMIGRANTS: "WHEN WAS THE MOMENT YOU FELT THAT LOS ANGELES WAS TRULY HOME?"
THIS IS THE STORY OF Chelsea Alcantara from Alhambra.
I'm originally from Dana Point.
When I moved to Alhambra, one of my good friends said she really wanted to live near somewhere where she'd be a local in a coffee shop, and I never considered that before. I never thought that was something that made you feel part of a community.
I lived in Orange County my whole life. It's almost exclusively chain restaurants, so it's very hard to find things that are unique. You know, I didn't walk into somewhere that someone was concerned if I didn't come one week.
But I found this local pho place [in Alhambra] that just became very comfortable to go to. I would go every Sunday. The owners were this really nice Vietnamese family – they all worked there, the whole family. Various generations.
They remembered me and my husband whenever we would go in. Anytime I would call and order over the phone, they knew what I wanted. They recognized my voice.
If we don't go in one week, the owner will ask us, "Is everything okay? What's going on?"
We just tell them, "We had ramen last week, I'm so sorry!"
I felt part of a community, I felt part of home. It really made me feel like I was an Angeleno for the first time.