New York

Monkey King Restaurant Aims to Be a Happening Hot Spot

Monkey King, located on 5th Avenue in downtown's Gaslamp District, features a modern spin on Chinese food

A new restaurant with an unlikely name – Monkey King – has opened in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District.

The name pays homage to the city’s more colorful past, when the Monkey King was an illegal lottery house of the late 1800s where people could dine, drink and gamble.

With Executive Chef Brendan Mica in the lead, the latest iteration of Monkey King at 467 5th Ave. features Chinese cuisine such as a whole one-pound lobster served with grilled scallions and a red chili sauce, dim sum, Peking duck, and a 12-ounce New York prime steak with a black pepper Sichuan sauce.

Monkey King San Diego
Monkey King San Diego's Chef Brendan Mica.

“The Monkey King menu will have no tricks. We’re crafting recipes inspired by true Chinese cooking, driven by ingredients from our local farming community,” Mica said.

The restaurant has an outdoor patio, an open-air lounge, and a dim sum table imported from China that seats up to eight people.

“Just like the Monkey King of old, this restaurant will be the most happening destination to enjoy food, drinks, and conversation into the late evening hours with a lively, contemporary vibe,” said co-owner Matt Gerold.

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