Now that New Year’s Day is over, it is time for a really big celebration on January 8—Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday, or at least what would have been his birthday. Our long-time readers know what a big Elvis fan I am and have been since I was around seven years old.
Of course I have dozens of his 45’s, albums, movies, books, magazines and lots of memorabilia. Having seen him in concert 40 times plus, I also have seven scarves that I received from Elvis himself during performances in either Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe.
My plans to celebrate on Saturday include listening to Elvis music all day and heading over to Azteca Restaurant at 12911 Historic Main St. in Garden Grove for dinner. Never heard of Azteca? Remember Mexico City Restaurant on South Street? Well Azteca is owned by a family member of the old Mexico City and features the same delicious food as well as some dishes of their own. Besides going there for the food, you’ll stay for the atmosphere. Talk about all Elvis all the time. Oh my goodness! The place is plastered with Elvis posters, real movie memorabilia and curio cabinets stuffed with Elvis paraphernalia. It’s rather like a shrine to the King of Rock and Roll, complete with several big screen televisions playing bits and pieces of Elvis’s 33 movies—yes I said 33! Not only are the walls emblazoned with tributes to Elvis—don’t forget to look up—the ceiling is covered too. I’ve never seen so much Elvis in one place. I’ve been to Azteca half a dozen times, including last year for Elvis’s 75th birthday. I know that this year will be just as much fun as I enjoy the food, atmosphere and fabulous margaritas.
Here’s a bit more about the place taken from their website:
So, why the fixation with Elvis? Well, that’s best answered by telling the story of the Azteca’s generous owner, best known as “JJ”. In 1962, when he was only six years old, JJ was watching the movie “Loving You” and heard Elvis sing “Teddy Bear” on his parents’ black and white, grainy television. Even as a young child, JJ appreciated the greatness that was Elvis, and he was hooked.
Over the years, JJ continued to admire Elvis. He was inspired by the King’s dancing, movements, and the way he sang. In 1993, JJ bought a picture of Elvis and hung it in the Azteca Restaurant’s lounge over booth one. And like the first domino that is pushed over, a chain reaction had started. Everything was down hill from there, and there was no stopping it. So, 1500 (plus) pieces of memorabilia later, the Azteca now boasts the largest Elvis collection this side of the Mississippi.
This isn’t just an ordinary collection, however. It’s THE collection to see. And seeing is believing. All the autographs and movie posters are real.
If you already have plans for Saturday don’t fret, but do take a drive down to Azteca Restaurant when you can. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing. Give JJ a call at (714) 638-3790 if you have any questions. Tell him Neena from the Signal Tribune sent you!