Restaurant Spotlight: Grand Awakening of Monkey King!

Monkey King, located in the Gaslamp Quarter at 467 5th Ave., is now the sixth concept to join GBOD Hospitality Group’s portfolio of restaurants and bars, expanding the dynamic hospitality group’s footprint in San Diego.

Cocktails, created by GBOD Hospitality Group beverage director Ryan Andrews, are inspired by the South Pacific and include selections like Monkey King Mai Tai, made with Ron Zacapa rum, toasted cashew orgeat, lime juice, orange liqueur and R&D house bitters; Balboa #2, a combination of Henebery whiskey, fresh lime, almond orgeat and R&D sarsaparilla bitters; and more.

Monkey King’s menu takes inspiration from Southeast Asian cuisine, combining authentic dishes with contemporary preparations and local seasonal produce. A sampling of new dishes includes honey-lemongrass chicken, with red onion, bok choy, cilantro and chilis; chili-lime sea bass, with watercress, lime and peanuts; shaking beef, served with papaya, tomato, red onion, scallions and lime; and papaya salad, made with green papaya, mint, Thai basil, cilantro, tomato, peanuts, prawns and nuoc dressing.


Honey Lemongrass Chicken- Monkey King
Grand Awakening of Monkey King!
Mai Tai- Monkey King
Rikky Tikki Tavi Cocktail
Monkey King
Cashew Chicken- Monkey King

The 3,600-square-foot restaurant honors its original name and draws inspiration from its beginnings in the late 1800s and Prohibition-era past. Located in what was San Diego’s Chinatown, the original Monkey King opened in 1877 as an illegal lottery house where politicians and local elite could go to dine, drink and gamble. Accommodating up to 175 guests, the venue features an open-air lounge, with exposed bricks and wooden beams; a garden-inspired bar and walls surrounded by modern gold elements and neon lighting effects; an outdoor patio; and an authentic dim sum table imported from China.

New menu offerings will be introduced at a trio of ‘grand awakening’ weekend events from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 through Saturday, June 23. Tray-passed appetizers and a sampling of cocktails will be available. Tickets may be reserved online at

About Monkey King

Monkey King draws inspiration from its Prohibition-era past and humble beginnings as an illegal lottery house in the 1800s, bringing its history to life through Southeast Asian cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. Located at 467 5th Ave. just south of Island Ave. in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Monkey King is open for dinner daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Happy hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, serving specially-priced appetizers and drinks. More information about Monkey King is available on the website at, by calling 619.359.8897, and on Facebook and Instagram at @MonkeyKingSanDiego and Twitter @MonkeyKingSD.