Khan you believe this hidden gem has been in Kearny Mesa since 2008?


Alexis Bondch

Chop suey with chicken at Khan’s Cave Tavern & Grill.

Khan’s Cave Grill & Tavern is a locally-owned and operated hidden gem, where Pan-Asian specialties are served up in a lively ambiance. Guests may find themselves seated in the bar watching the Padres game, sharing a family-sized plate of loco-moco in the finely appointed dining room where the ceilings are adorned by gold-painted tiles, or enjoying a signature beverage on the airy patio, gathered cozily around a fire pit. 

Conveniently located in Kearny Mesa, a short drive from campus, Khan’s offers ample parking, an abundant lunch menu, and a generous happy hour Monday through Friday from 3pm-7pm, and Wednesdays from 3pm until closing time. With its sizable footprint, the restaurant has plenty of seating to accommodate parties of almost any size and is a great space for special events. 

The service is quick and attentive, and the staff are kind and knowledgeable about the menu offerings, which are inspired by various cuisines, including Hawaiian, Chinese, and Korean. As the restaurant’s website says, “Please do not expect authenticity in any ethnic food, but we make them good.”

The roasted duck sliders on steamed buns were beautifully presented in a row of three with a side of hoisin sauce. The steamed buns were fluffy, soft, and kissed with the perfect amount of flavor. The portions of duck inside each bun were generous, but overcooked, leading to a tough texture that was unpleasant.

However, the overall bite was redeemed by the secret sauce inside the bun & the added kick of the hoisin. This particular menu item would not make the list of recommendations, but it was worth a try. 

The next item we ordered was the chop suey with chicken and vegetables. It was presented in an aluminum bowl to keep the food warm and was mixed with chicken and vegetables. The chicken was soft and had the perfect amount of flavor. The vegetables were tender and tasty, adding a delectable mix of textures that blended well together.

The last item we ordered was the dumpling sampler. It came with two of each: gyoza, har gow, shumai, and wonton. The fillings were chicken, shrimp and sausage. Three out of the four in the selection were very good. The shumai, however, had a powerful fishy taste that wasn’t likable.  

The serving staff are very welcoming and constantly making sure you are satisfied with your food and beverages. If you aren’t in the mood for a cold beverage, they offer hot green tea, making the vibe of the restaurant relaxing and laid back. 

Taking into account the delightful atmosphere, reasonable pricing, broad menu, great service, convenient location, thoughtful presentation of each dish, and generally good food, it’s no mystery why Khan’s Cave has been around for so long. If you haven’t stopped in yet, try it out.