By Elena Kadvany
Su Hong 2.0? Former waiter reopens Chinese standby under new name in Palo AltoUploaded: Dec 6, 2019
Su Hong Palo Alto is back, albeit under a new name and owner but with the same food beloved by generations of customers.
The longtime Chinese restaurant at 4256 El Camino Real closed in September. Owner David King, who had run Su Hong locations in Palo Alto and Menlo Park since 1977, retired in advance of a proposed development that would replace the El Camino Real building with a five-story, 51,300-square-foot boutique hotel.
Photo by Elena Kadvany.
Hua Shi, who worked as a waiter at Su Hong Palo Alto three years ago, has since taken over the 3,300-square-foot restaurant. He reopened it last week as Su Zhe Eatery. A large "grand reopening" sign hangs outside the restaurant's windows.
Beyond new carpet and a fresh coat of paint on the walls in the dining room, "everything is the same," Shi said. The same chef is in the kitchen, though he plans to hire one or two more. The menu is largely the same but Shi said he's using new meat, seafood and produce suppliers to bring in more fresh products. He's going to Chinatown in San Francisco every other day to pick up fresh, not frozen, meat and seafood.
Shi, a native of Shanghai, also plans to add some regional specials to the menu.
Like Su Hong, Su Zhe Eatery will be open for lunch and dinner and offer takeout and catering.
A similar takeover happened at Su Hong To Go in Menlo Park in 2015, when owner Bee King sold to a new owner, who renamed the popular eatery Chef Kwan’s but preserved the chef and menu.
Shi and his manager said they're not worried about the proposed hotel project, which they think won't come to fruition for another year or two.
Samuel Gutierrez, the city planner assigned to the project, said the city has been working on the environment impact report and is set to publish it by the end of the year. He anticipates the project going to the Architectural Review Board for a third hearing in early 2020.