China Chef, voted best Chinese restaurant in La Jolla nearly every year since 2000 in the Light’s annual Best Of issue in October, has a new gluten-free menu for those allergic to the protein found in wheat and other grains.
The popular mom-and-pop, neighborhood Chinese restaurant at 623 Pearl St. has been owned by Bob Gu, the third owner of a Chinese restaurant at the site, since 1995.
There are seven regional food “styles” in China roughly corresponding to geographic regions, noted Gu. He explained China Chef’s cuisine is a blend of Szechuan (spicier and hotter) and Mandarin (tastier with more soy sauce ) as distinguished from standard Chinese fare in America, which is primarily Cantonese.
“We like healthy cuisine, some gluten free for that growing population, with no MSG (preservative) and low sugar and low salt,” Gu said. “Everything is cooked fresh on the wok. Quality is very important for this restaurant.”
China Chef delivers and caters in the La Jolla, UTC and Pacific Beach areas.
Gu said his clientele has changed during the more than 15 years he’s done business in the Jewel. He serves more people from China now and does fewer lunches but more dinners than he used to.
Gu tells this joke that’s become popular in his native China: There are no good chefs there anymore because they’ve all gone to the United States.
China Chef’s restaurant walls are lined with memorabilia from China and La Jolla.
Gu, from Shanghai, China, came to the United States with his wife who was in a French scholarship exchange program. They have one daughter going to Harvard and another now attending La Jolla High School.
China Chef is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday the restaurant is closed.
For more information call (858) 454-7597 or to see a menu visit