It looks like the long-running Mao’s Kitchen on Melrose has quietly shuttered. The popular Chinese restaurant made for a casual and rather inexpensive place to eat on that stretch of upscale shops and tourist stores, but fell away a couple of weeks ago due to a lease dispute.
A look at the company’s purposefully spartan website shows a single bit of information regarding the closure, with a statement that reads:
As of June 16th Mao's on Melrose will be closed until the lease is renewed or a new location occupied.
Of course, they’re happy to still send folks to the original Venice location of Mao’s on Pacific Avenue, but for those not on the Westside that’s a bit of a trek for pan-Chinese entrees like orange-ginger chicken or smoked tofu. Thankfully there’s now Northern Cafe in Westwood, which is a shorter drive and is doing some of the area’s best (and most affordable) Chinese fare.