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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 2 times today

Monkey King

8 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Top Tags:
  • Business Meals
  • Happy Hour
  • Tapas
In the 1920’s Tom Ah Quin was the most influential Chinese businessman in downtown San Diego. He owned the underground gambling establishment known as the Monkey King Lottery House, as well as Nanking Café. While being heavily involved in local politics he earned himself the unofficial title as “Mayor,” which helped Monkey King Lottery House become a meeting place for many powerful politicians and businessmen, where they would not only hold meetings but unwind and enjoy the fruits of their labor with food, drinks, and entertainment. In 1935, the Monkey King Lottery House was raided by the government, which brought the gambling establishment to an end. The original tile entry way of the Nanking Café still exists to this day. So much history was made under this roof, which is why Monkey King was brought back to life so that patrons from all over can enjoy its charm and nostalgia for many years to come.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Chinese, Dim Sum, Pan-Asian
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Hours of operation
Mon–Wed, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Thu–Sat 5:00 pm–12:00 am
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Phone number
(619) 359-8897
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Nick Urbanske
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Cross street
Fifth and Island Aves
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Parking details
Garage parking available
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Public transit
Gaslamp Trolley Stop.
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 8 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
50% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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5.0Dined 2 days ago

The food was DELICIOUS! Centrally located, nice atmosphere

5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Good, food was a little expensive for what you got

3.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Dim sum assortments had to be sent back because all the food was cold in both bamboo steamers. Dim sum tasted like frozen food. Service was slow. Spicy shrimp was good; but too spicy. Other shrimp dish was good. Notified the hostess and server we had a birthday; but nothing was done.

4.0Dined on March 21, 2018

Food was average, service was slow, the waiter was slightly rude towards the other guests. However, the manager did stop by all the tables to greet us, so that was nice.

5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

This was a pleasant find. The appetizers and small plates were perfectly prepared and presented. We enjoyed the dim sum menu so much we ended up sharing a main course noodle dish. Everything was very good. And the Chinese movie playing on the big screens for happy hour fit right into the ambience.

3.0Dined on February 26, 2018

Wanted to try the place for a few days. Made a reservation. Were seated outside. Nice and cozy.
Good was excellent. However, service leaves a lot to be desired.
Very slow. The waiter possesses no knowledge of menu, or service principles. Mains came out when our appetizers were just brought out. I asked to take the entrees back and to return them at appropriate time.
They were brought back warmed (!!!).
No wok dishes should be reheated.
It was gross.
When the server cleaned the table, she noticed my plate was untouched. All she did was ask me "if I need a box"
When I said "no", she didn't try to find out why I haven't touched my good and immediately produced a bill.
I was furious.
I have to say that manager was extremely courteous and professional.
He was very apologetic and understanding, and part of our meal was comped. The situation was remedied.
I'd definitely be willing to give this place another try.

4.0Dined on February 20, 2018

Awesome hostess! Food was cold and they were out of some items that the waitress failed to tell us about until we ordered it. Great atmosphere but wish the food was better

2.0Dined on February 16, 2018

Bad service