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Mandarin House, San Diego, CA (restaurant)

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Name:Mandarin House
Street:2604 5th Avenue
City:San Diego
Phone:(619) 232-1101

An excellent Mandarin and Szechuan restaurant in Banker's Hill area. The decor was more Asian than Tiki, but the tiki drinks were to die for. I had a drink in a fantastic volcano-on-fire bowl. Wish I had a big enough purse for that baby! Here's a look at some of their drinks:


I'll have to check out their La Jolla location & see if it's more Tiki. If nothing else I'll get a good tropical drink, right?

I haven't been to the La Jolla one. Here's the only pic I could find:


Looks quite a bit more formal than their downtown location. Hopefully their drinks are just as deee-lish and that they also use tiki glassware.

Also, they have this fantastic dish (sorry..can't remember the name) but it has deep-fried crispy seaweed and crunchy chicken on top. Sounds nasty, I know, but it's a delight I tell ya.


I hadn't been to this restaurant in years until I went Friday night with friends. I was surprised to find a page of tropical drinks. I ordered a Navy Grog and lo-and-behold it arrived in a tiki mug! A friend got a coco loco in a ceramic coconut mug. A guy at the next table was drinking out of a ceramic pineapple mug.

The Navy Grog was pretty good, but a little too sweet I thought. Still, the food was good and the drinks were an added bonus.

ALAS, I've been told that this 5th Avenue location may soon be bulldozed for an expensive condo development. Enjoy it while you can.

[ Edited by: arriano 2006-10-24 10:32 ]

ALAS, I've been told that this 5th Avenue location may soon be bulldozed for an expensive condo development. Enjoy it while you can.


That's terrible news. The Mandarin House is an institution -- very much an old-school Chinese restaurant. And yes, the tropical drinks are tasty, potent, and served in tiki mugs. The owner, Martin, is a great guy too -- talk to him once and you've got a friend for life. And all this is going to be flattened just to throw up another cheaply-built faux-Tuscan monstrosity full of $500,000 condos??? I'm distraught.

By all means, if you're in San Diego, go there and enjoy it while you still can.

The Mandarin House just had a write up in last week's San Diego City Beat:

I never read the food section, but this caught my eye:

The blurb:

It was in a Chinese new year article.

Flame On!
Buzzy Out!


I first heard this would close seven years ago (see my post above). When the economy went south, it didn't happen. I'd hoped that the plans had been completely scrapped, but apparently they were just on hold.


There aren't many old-school Chinese places in San Diego anymore. If you're in town, you should go for one last meal.

"I am Lono!" -- Hale Ka'a Tiki Lounge

[ Edited by: arriano 2013-10-24 08:57 ]

Heath posted on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 10:06 PM

Tried to go tonight for dinner...
I wish I would've read arriano's post before, a sad night for me.

[ Edited by: Heath 2013-11-01 22:08 ]


Well at least there was this "positive" bit in the article:

"Though the Americanized Chinese food won't be missed, Eater's sad to say goodbye to their Tiki drinks, including the flaming Volcano bowl. Good news is that the exact same menu, cocktails included, can still be found at Mandarin House's La Jolla location (6765 La Jolla Blvd.), which isn't going anywhere soon; the rep says that they have a solid lease for the spot."

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