A woman driving a black Ford Explorer ran headlong into the wall of cracking the exterior wall and causing enough piping and kitchen damage to temporarily shut down the nearly half-century institution in Tujunga Village.
"This place has withstood the 1971 quake and the 1994 earthquake, and now this," said owner Janis Hood, whose grandfather opened the taco stand. On Dec. 13 this year, Henry's Tacos will have stood at the corner of Moorpark Street and Tujunga Avenue for 50 years.
North Hollywood police detectives have a license number of the car from a witness at the next door, and there is a closed circuit recording of the incident that will be delivered to police (and stay tuned, Patch hopes to get the footage soon as well.)
The tape shows a woman and another passenger looking like they are turning into the Henry's parking lot (which was closed at the time). The car lurches forward, then gets stuck, and the wheels spin and then smoke as the car hits the wall again, and smashes a storage shed outside the tiny restaurant. Then the car backs away and leaves.
The incident happened at about 10:55 p.m. Saturday. Henry's does not open on Sundays, and on Monday, it was determined that there was too much damage to open for the day.
"I am hoping that we can open for at least one day on Tuesday and tell people what happened, and then we may have to be closed for two or three days to get the pipes replaced," Hood said.
Inside, the sink was knocked off the wall, and a $3,000 slicer fell to the floor. A plumber at the scene said pipes need to be replaced, and an insurance adjuster was on the way to the scene Monday afternoon.
Coincidentally on Monday, Lisa Sarkin writing the column named Henry's Tacos one of the best places for a deal on lunch. Readers may have to wait to take advantage of that advice.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call the North Hollywood division of the Los Angeles Police Department at (818) 623-4016.