Open seven days a week, only closing on Thanksgiving throughout its 42 years in operation, longtime La Jolla Boulevard restaurant Mandarin House was forced to shutter last summer after a fire broke out in its kitchen. At the time, owner Nelson Law intended to reopen with minor repairs, but after permitting delays and other setbacks, eventually decided to take the time to more fully refresh and remodel the well-worn building. He told Eater he hopes to reopen the restaurant for takeout and delivery by August.
Law has been running the restaurant for the last five years, taking over for his late father who founded the Chinese eatery in 1977. He says that the space will mostly retain its old school, 1970s vibe, albeit with upgrades that include redecorated booths, a new roof and flooring, and an extended bar.
Being mindful of the generations of local families who have patronized the restaurant for decades, Law says that the menu will still feature its original recipes, including the bestselling kung pao chicken, though he also plans to add some new dishes. Also staying put: Mandarin House’s collection of rum-based tropical drinks served in kitschy tiki mugs.