The death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers of the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, California, last weekend is the sort of tragedy that leaves people trying—and failing—to make sense of it. Mourning someone you’ve never known is a strange exercise at the best of times, and Bryant leaves behind a legacy more complicated than most. There is no playbook for grieving a famous stranger.
Some California residents, though, have found their own way to pay their respects to the Lakers shooting guard. KABC, a Los Angeles ABC affiliate, interviewed diners who have been flocking to El Camino Real, one of Bryant’s favorite restaurants in Orange County, this week. It was a regular stop for the basketball star for the past 20 years, and ordering his favorite meal there has been a comfort to several mourning fans.
“I drive by it and I thought today would be a day to come by and order some carnitas and flan,” patron Melissa Hidalgo told KABC. “It was just my own way to pay some respect to Kobe Bryant and the family.”