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Mao's Kitchen on Melrose?

There's a really big mural on the side of a building on Melrose that says Mao's Kitchen. It's my favorite place in Venice (I used to work down the street) and home of my most favorite chinese-type chicken salad ever. Looks like they're opening on Melrose which is down the street from my house, and now that I don't work in Venice I never make it over there! My stomach is happy. Anyone know when it's supposed to open?

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    1. re: mehfactor

      On the north side of the street...not sure of the cross street, but it's between Fairfax and La Brea...next time I drive by I'll take note of the streets.

    2. You mean Red Pearl Kitchen? is it where mesonG used to be? it's seems like it's a chinese/pan asian restaurant from SD and huntington beach. i looked at the menu and it reminds me of PF Chang's.


      1 Reply
      1. re: trolley

        No, not that one. That's actually even closer to my place!

        If you go down about 8 or 9 blocks heading west, it's on the same side of the street. I think it's next to that auto upholstery place, and that little shack that sells weird funky items (like big cows and old neon signs)...it's the side of a white building that you can really only see if you're coming from west to east. But painted on the side it says Mao's Kitchen in red and yellow.

      2. Sounds like the old Tommy Tang's space, just W of The Groundlings.

        3 Replies
          1. re: cincodemayo1

            What else is good there, Cinco? I have several friends who have raved about in the past.

            1. re: Ciao Bob


              The Crispy Salad is great...looks of interesting veggies. Delicious dressing.

              The noodles and sauce they give you on the table is great too, and unique.

              I usually get the salt & pepper seafood. Lightly fried, mixed in with green and white onions, and jalapeƱos.

              The onion pancake app (maybe called the peasent pancake?) is really good. The wonton soup is also unique and very good.

              And I always see people ordering these huge bowls of soups/noodle dishes. All look great.

              They also have a big variety of teas, and they give you a personal pot.

              Let me know how you like it.

        1. 1 works for maos kitchen in the plumbing of his restaurant and have been call out to do city standards to meet city codes for new restaurant beleve me he want to open asap so it depend on ciy inspector to pass final then we are cooking wth fire

          1. YES! Mao's Kitchen is now open on Melrose (between Fuller & Poinsettia) it is the old Tommy Tang's space. They opened about a week ago -- same menu -- same incredible food. Not many have caught on yet, so now is the time to go. SO glad to have them in the neighborhood!

            1 Reply
            1. re: francoise9

              Any word on their delivery radius?

            2. I went there for the second time last night after a very good intital trip a month ago on a friday night. Now this being a a monday night on President's day holiday- the place was not packed- but most of the tables became occupied while we were there. First of all, we ordered a soup and appetizer. The three main dishes came out- but (not the fault of the server)- one dish came crashing down to the floor after a run-in with another customer sitting down. So now, 2 of three dishes and no rice. No..."sorry- that was your dish"- i'll be right on it." So we had to remind the server we wanted rice. Then came the appetizer (potsickers)- which obviously had been sitting on the counter from the very beginning. We informed the waiter that it was cold- and he offered to replace it. We said sure..Again...problem solved. Then came the soup.....with no serving utesil, and the biggest insult of all....four "Western" large spoons lines up around the bowl. Not only did we have to ask for a serving utensil to distribute the soup- we had to drink it with these large silver spoons. The table next to us had the proper soup tongs. In my 31 years (i'm chinese)- i've never had soup from small soup bowls with an oversized western spoon- no matter what kind of chinese restaurant. They really need to get their act together. I was embarassed taking my guests there. I thought I had found a relatively good chinese place...i'll think twice before going back there again.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jp555101

                the food at mao's kitchen in venice really isn't authentic chinese food--it is delicious california food that has been inspiried by chinese food.
                the servers in venice are not 'professional' servers--this is a sideline for them, so it's important to understand that it is not realistic to expect professional-level service at this restaurant.

                that said, i like the food so much that i'm willing to go with the flow there (including the parking problem) in order to be able to eat their food. my favorite dish is 'mao's hometown.'

                1. re: westsidegal

                  well said.

                  i think it's also a good place if you've got dietary restrictions or preferences - vegan, vegetarian, etc.

              2. great place. the brown fried rice w/baked tofu is excellent, as is the orange ginger fried tofu. good & cheap! but food can sometimes take FOREVER to arrive and service can be slow. but again, it's CHEAP...and GOOD!

                1. Very delicious place. I love lamb and they have it there and most asian spots here don't. I get the shoa mountain lamb and their hot and sour soup is very good. I sometimes go there at lunch and get their $1 salad (just a basic green salad w/ carrot and very good light dressing in a lil take out box) and a large soup $6 for a lunch.

                  1. I tried Mao's for the first time a few weeks ago. The food was poor and the service was worse. The room is loud and reverberant and my change was rounded down in their favor. I wont return.