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La Jolla Business Roundup: Mandarin House returns, plus see more new openings and those coming soon

The Mandarin House restaurant at 6765 La Jolla Blvd. has reopened from a fire and renovation.
The Mandarin House restaurant at 6765 La Jolla Blvd. has reopened from a fire and renovation.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

After closing completely for almost two years following a fire in August 2019, La Jolla’s Mandarin House restaurant reopened in phases last year while it underwent renovation and is now welcoming even more patrons back to 6765 La Jolla Blvd.

Mandarin House started offering takeout service in June. Three months later, the restaurant was “half open” for in-person dining while the remodeling was being completed. In November, the larger back room was reopened.

Owner Nelson Law said the restaurant is in the last phases of renovation, but “we are functionally open.”

He acknowledged that the post-fire construction took longer than anticipated but said: “We feel good about being open again. The layout is the same ... aesthetically it’s different. We went for a modern but an old Chinese restaurant feel. But we have the same food and flavors you are used to. For those coming for the first time, we’ve been in La Jolla since 1977, so we welcome you to come see what we’re all about.”

Mandarin House’s website is currently down, but the restaurant can be reached at (858) 454-2555.

La Jolla Gem Appraisal

After opening Saigon Spring Jewelry in September 2020, owner Jen Pham said she wanted to do more for her customers and dive deeper into her love of jewelry and gemstones. So she spent the better part of 2021 studying and training to become a gemologist and an appraiser.

La Jolla Gem Appraisal owner Jen Pham works in her office at 7703 Fay Ave.
La Jolla Gem Appraisal owner Jen Pham works in her office at 7703 Fay Ave.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“I love gemstones and have a passion for them, so I wanted to have the knowledge to talk to my customers about them,” Pham said. “But as I went deeper, I realized my passion was in appraising.”

She recently obtained her gemology degree and appraisal credentials and opened La Jolla Gem Appraisal in November in the back of her jewelry store at 7703 Fay Ave.

“I wanted to be a trusted appraiser in this village that my husband and I call home,” she said. “We want to contribute our knowledge to enrich the community we are in and help people in a professional way.”

In a simple appraisal, the piece is examined then and there and the report is delivered later. In more complex studies, the piece is left with Pham for research and analysis and returned later.

Appraisals currently are available only by appointment. Learn more at lajollagemappraisal.com.

The Corner Specialty Shoppe

Looking to expand its wine and beer offerings, The Corner Mercantile & Eatery at 8070 La Jolla Shores Drive has taken over the adjacent property that once housed La Jolla Postal and Shipping and will call the offshoot The Corner Specialty Shoppe.

The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee approved a conditional use permit Dec. 20 for the sale of beer, wine and general merchandise at the shop.

“In the last few years, we ran out of space, so we are looking to expand our beer and wine sales, caviar, chocolate, specialty items, etc.,” with the new location, owner Wayne Pierce said.

PRC trustees noted during their hearing on the project that there are few places in La Jolla Shores that offer alcohol to take home.

Trustee Angie Preisendorfer said the store gives a “nice vibe” to the street.

Razzmata’zz

Thanks to some divine intervention, Razzmata’zz boutique opened in La Jolla in November to offer bohemian-inspired women’s clothing.

“I had stores across Orange County, but when [my family and I] moved to San Diego County … I wasn’t able to find a retail spot that felt right,” said owner Artillia Marcellous. “I was going to the Vons in La Jolla and God told me to look to my left, so I did and saw this nice little storefront was available and thought it was a great place for a boutique.”

Razzmata’zz is now located at 7556 Fay Ave.

Razzmata’zz boutique owner Artillia Marcellous shows some of the offerings in her store at 7556 Fay Ave.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Marcellous, who has a background in fashion design, calls the La Jolla boutique her studio. “Some of the tie-dye and one-of-a-kind pieces are mine, but I also bring in lines from Italy, washable silks and other designs,” she said.

Her ideal client is “someone who wants to experience something different,” she said. “Just someone with an open mind who wants something ... unique.”

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Learn more at (949) 412-8550.

Joya Organic Kitchen

As part of the new Boardwalk at Science Center Drive project, Clique Hospitality has announced that a new restaurant concept will open in February.

Joya Organic Kitchen at 10275 Science Center Drive will be a contemporary restaurant serving organic farm-fresh menu items, daily specials and grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and pressed juices, according to a news release.

“This area of La Jolla is a central hub for some of our county’s biggest innovators in science, medicine and technology,” said Clique Hospitality founder Andy Masi. “We wanted to create a space where some of San Diego’s brightest minds as well as locals and visitors to the area could come together over organic, fresh, delicious food while soaking up the beauty of Joya’s open restaurant concept.”

The Boardwalk is a $164 million life science campus that will include three buildings with more than 195,000 square feet of office and lab space. It is meant as a flagship venue for Irvine-based Healthpeak Properties, which already operates about 2 million square feet of life science office space in San Diego.

Mediterranean Room

The La Valencia Hotel at 1132 Prospect St. will reimagine its The Med restaurant in celebration of the inn’s 95th anniversary. Besides reverting to its original name, the Mediterranean Room, the hotel’s signature restaurant will be remodeled with a new patio and bar and a new seasonally driven California-Mediterranean menu for brunch, lunch and dinner.

The Mediterranean Room is opening this winter. For more information, visit lavalencia.com.

Breakfast Republic

San Diego’s Rise & Shine Hospitality Group continues to expand its footprint with new locations of its breakfast and lunch restaurant concepts, including a Breakfast Republic location opening this year at 637 Pearl St. in La Jolla.

An Eggies walk-up breakfast sandwich window also will open at the La Jolla location. Learn more at riseandshinerg.com.

Marisi Italiano

The Puesto Mexican restaurant team will open its first Italian restaurant in late spring in the former Whisknladle space at 1044 Wall St. in La Jolla, adjacent to the local Puesto location.

Marisi Italiano chef Chad Huff, formerly of Broad Street Oyster Co. in Malibu, will prepare house-made pastas, carpaccios and seafood dishes. Marisi also will have full bar — including house-made limoncello — led by Puesto’s bar and spirits director, Beau de Bois. Learn more at marisilajolla.com.