Filipino restaurant in Orange County triumphs over vandalism
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fil-Am restaurant triumphs over hateful vandalism

The suspected vandal was arrested and convicted of six counts of felony vandalism with hate crime enhancements
/ 07:32 PM June 19, 2024

Fil-Am restaurant triumphs over hateful vandalism

Photo from OCSD – Lake Forest Police Services/ Facebook

Serving up a taste of home for over a decade, Filipino restaurant Pinoy Pam’s Best in Orange County, California, endured months of hateful vandalism. 

Thanks to the unrelenting support of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) – Lake Forest Police Services and the perseverance of the owner Pamela Perez, the beloved Filipino restaurant triumphed over hate-fueled vandalism.

For Perez, 2023 was a challenging year. Her restaurant was repeatedly targeted by a vandal. They had to clean up shards of shattered glass windows, replace destroyed items and cover their windows with plywood six times.

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Damages totaling thousands of dollars left Perez hesitant to replace the windows — in fear of having them broken again. But despite the setbacks, Perez, with her family’s support, refused to back down, determined to keep their business running.

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A post shared by Pinoy Pam’s Best (@pinoypamsbest)

The turning point came when Deputy Tyler Carrillo of the OCSD arrested the suspect. 

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During his routine patrol in the shopping center where the Filipino restaurant was located, Carillo spotted Larry John Abraham Jr., a 28-year-old Lake Forest resident, bearing the same description as the primary suspect.

Abraham pleaded guilty to six counts of felony vandalism with hate crime enhancements. He will serve one year in jail, followed by probation running until 2026.

Underscoring their commitment to the community, the OCSD – Lake Forest Police posted on Facebook, “This case highlights our commitment to protecting our community and ensuring justice for victims of hate crimes.”

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You may also like: Why hate crimes are hard to prosecute

‘Pinoy Pam’s Best’ serves up a slice of home

Similar to the Filipino restaurant in NYC run by nurses, Pinoy Pam’s Best is also a beloved food spot in Orange County and its owner, Pamela Perez, is a former caregiver. 

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A post shared by Pinoy Pam’s Best (@pinoypamsbest)

Her patients adored her even more when she started offering them a taste of Filipino cuisine — one of the most sumptuous they’ve ever tasted, Perez shared on the restaurant’s website.

Her restaurant became a pillar of the Lake Forest community, serving up authentic Filipino dishes – from bulalo (beef stew) and lechon belly to pinakbet – for over a decade.

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A post shared by Pinoy Pam’s Best (@pinoypamsbest)

Starting as an eatery in a small food court space, Perez had expanded to her current restaurant, providing not just delicious food but a taste of home.

“Many loyal customers say that we are more than just a restaurant and store,” Perez shared with Patch. “Pinoy Pam’s is a slice of home that brings back memories of happiness.”

Throughout their ordeal, the community’s support never faltered. “I’ve always wondered what happened,” one commenter posted on Facebook. “Glad they caught the guy.”

With the perpetrator behind bars, customers are eagerly looking forward to enjoying authentic cuisine at Pinoy Pam’s Best located at 23635 El Toro Road in Lake Forest.

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TAGS: Filipino American businesses, hate crime, Orange County, Trending, vandalism
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