San Diego's Saffron Thai To Open La Jolla Location

April 5, 2018

One of San Diego's oldest Thai restaurants is opening another location. Saffron Thai, which debuted in Mission Hills in 1985, will bring its tried-and-true recipes to La Jolla later this year.

Bangkok native Su-Mei Yu opened Saffron Thai on a northern stretch of India Street in Mission Hills in 1985 and quickly had hungry diners packing the house to get a taste of her grilled chicken and authentic Thai dishes. In 2013, the second location of Saffron Thai opened within Terminal 2 of San Diego's Lindbergh Field International Airport. In Fall 2016, Su-Mei sold her restaurant to the Karina's Restaurant Group, owner of the Karina's Mexican chain of eateries, who installed a fast-casual location of their Karina's Ceviche & More concept within one-half of the space at 3731 India Street and vowed to expand the Saffron brand with one new opening per year. Yu stayed on as a consulting partner with the company to assist with growth.

"Saffron is such an on-going success story that we need to share it with other parts of San Diego, and La Jolla is a natural choice," said Karina’s Group’s David Contreras Curiel. "The new space is large enough to accommodate a good number of guests, but small enough that we can maintain the high quality of the food, service and environment customers expect from us."

Saffron Thai will open within the 2,000 square-foot space with an outdoor patio that last housed a Chipotle at 1055 Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla. The restaurant will serve a menu similar to the Mission Hills location, with summer rolls, stir-fried noodles, grilled chicken, rich curries, a large array of soups and salads and newer additions like Thai tacos and curry wraps. Expect the eatery to start serving by this Summer with more locations to open around San Diego and beyond in the near future.

This is not the first venture into La Jolla for Su-Mei and Saffron. In 1993, Su-Mei opened a Saffron outpost in the small shopping center that houses a Vons location off Regents Road that lasted a little over two years.

“I’m thrilled to expand Saffron to La Jolla,” says Saffron founder Su-Mei Yu. “Customers have been asking me for years to add more locations, but I haven’t found the right opportunity until now. I look forward to delighting my neighbors on this side of San Diego with the cuisine, convenience and affordability of Saffron."

For more information on Saffron Thai, visit