Melisa’s Chinese on Balboa to reopen after the holidays

Good news! Renovations are finally underway at Melisa’s Chinese Cuisine on Balboa.

The popular restaurant was forced to close after a fire broke out at K Design Shop next door on July 18. While responding to the fire, firefighters went inside to cut a hole in the ceiling of Melisa’s to ensure that the flames had not spread. The restaurant has been closed ever since.

Reader Derek had a chance to talk to the owners, who said that they’d most likely be opening after Christmas, adding that the holiday season is typically slow for them so they were in no rush to re-open sooner.

The main cause of the delay was due to smoke and water damage from the fire, which resulted in the owners having to install a new lighting system. Derek reports that they’ve also completely redone the walls and floors inside the restaurant.

Melisa’s closure really upset some residents, who leaned on it for their Chinese food fix. Back in September, we posted a photo of notes that customers left on the front door with sentiments like ““We miss you and will totally donate $ to help you get back!” and “We miss you every day. Please come back soon!”.

So you won’t have to wait too much longer for Melisa’s to begin serving again, and when they do, it will be in an even spiffier space!

Thanks to Derek for the update and pics.

Sarah B.

An interior of the renovated Melisa’s which includes new lighting, floors and a paint job.

Notes that customers left on the door of the restaurant after it closed.


  1. Great News about Melissa’s opening again, we hope soon. If I remember right in prior years they closed for a week or two each year in January (I presume for vacation). I guess it’s a sign of a family business when everyone takes vacation at the same time. We miss you Melissa’s!

  2. My family has enjoyed Melissa’s for the 15+/- years Richard has been in business. Through all those years, he has had the same chef. I hope he’s able to retain the same chef. I talked to Richard a day or two after the fire, and he said he thought it was a good time to remodel. But with delays of insurance settlement, hiring a contractor and building permits, four months have passed without us being able to enjoy his excellent cuisine. There is a sign on the door suggesting we go to his website http://www.melisaschinesecuisine.com/ for an update on when he will reopen. I am glad to hear Melissa’s will be open, because I really miss his Spicy Chicken with Basil!

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