Mezé Owners Purchase Downtown San Diego's Monkey King

June 20, 2018

The on-again-off-again downtown San Diego Asian fusion bar & restaurant, Monkey King, is now the sixth concept to join GBOD Hospitality Group’s portfolio of restaurants and bars, which includes Mezé, Prohibition, El Chingon, Havana 1920, and Mezé at Liberty Station.

GBOD Hospitality Group was founded in 2012 by brothers Raymond and Patrick Davoudi in San Diego with the opening of Mezé Greek Fusion in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Two new partners, Joe Santos and Aleko Achtipes, joined GBOD in 2014 with the aim to build a portfolio of dynamic hospitality brands. Building on the success of Mezé, GBOD took over operations of Prohibition, an underground speakeasy in San Diego's Gaslamp in February 2017, followed by the opening El Chingon Bad Ass Mexican in May 2017. Mezé at Liberty Station debuted in June 2017 and Havana 1920 opened in the space adjacent to El Chingon in October 2017. GBOD added Monkey King to its portfolio just this month. With six restaurants now under its umbrella, GBOD is now working to develop sister companies in related industries.

Monkey King now has a new menu that 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. The bar program has be redesigned by GBOD Hospitality Group beverage director Ryan Andrews, and includes cocktails inspired by the South Pacific.

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, walls surrounded by modern gold elements, 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, taking place on Thursday, June 21 through Saturday, June 23, from 5-7pm. Tray-passed appetizers and a sampling of cocktails will be available. Tickets may be reserved online.

Monkey King is located at 467 5th Avenue in San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter. For more information, visit and check out the new menu below.