HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Nov 18, 2012 05:39 PM
Discussion

Chinese Food in the 50's

The only place I ever ate at that left a indelible, beautifully etched memory, was George Joe's restaurant downtown San Diego. I was barely 10 when I first started seeing the wonderful, dark green interior of Joe's famous Chinese restaurant. The food at Joe's--nothing compared to it then or now. The service was always impeccable. The last time I saw George and his wife was when they came to dinner at our house in Chula Vista 1962. I miss that place that famous restaurant with all the autographed photographs of Gable, Garbo, Bogart, Fred Astaire, Kathrine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy that hung on the wall as you entered the restaurant. There were other signed photographs of Reagan and politicians. My favorite appetizer was a marinated thin slice of beef in a paper wrap. I've never had anything like it sense.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Sounds cool! What happened to George Joe's?

    1. George Joe's moved out to La Mesa, but was never the same. Another good place was the "Sheng Haw Lo" on Third Ave N/O Broadway upstairs, eventually settling 58th and University having succombed to the buffet. Jimmy Wong's "Golden Dragon" on University between Fourth and Fifth was good, but overated in my opinion. Sitting here today I'm going to cast my vote for "Wong's Nanking" at Fifth and Island.

      1 Reply
      1. re: 49johnnyfung

        Wong' s Nanking was and will always be the best...I remember playing Sukiaki on the little jukeboxes they had at each table against the wall. I used to watch the old man sitting in the front smoke and walk back to the kitchen then back to the front again. Lots of memories there.

        1. re: bluefin2na

          Your capslock key license is revoked.

          1. re: bluefin2na

            And Land of China in Chula Vista and Seaport Village.

            1. re: bluefin2na

              I'd be shocked if anyone but me recalls a true hole in the wall from the later 50's / early 60's called Din Pau Yee. On Broadway right at the border between Lemon Grove and Spring Valley.

              1. re: mcgrath

                LindyN might remember, but she seems to have disappeared.

            2. There was Sheng Haw Lo's (sp) out off of 70th and University. Classic old school Chinese. That and China Land were the gold standard for middle class San Diego. China Land's Seaweed Soup was wonderful.

              1. I wasn't here in the 50s or 60s, but when I was deciding to move here in the 70s one of the things I did was go to the library to look up restaurants in SD. They had the yellow pages for most large cities, but not all were up to date. My recollection is that the one for SD was pretty old -- from the mid- or late 60s.

                What struck me first was that there weren't very many interesting-sounding restaurants for a big city. In fact, there didn't seem to be that many restaurants at all. But even more surprising was that the majority of them seemed to be Chinese, Pizza, or Mexican. I didn't count, but that's my memory.

                I was glad when I arrived to find that there were indeed more choices; one can only eat so much Chinese food.