Our Story

About China Moon Restaurant

China Moon Story

We trust you will enjoy the Mandarin and Szechwan Cuisine presented by award winning owners Vanissa and Jackson Chen. Jackson Chen began his career over 40 years ago as the Maitre d’ of the cruise ship S.S. Universe. Prior to coming to the U.S., Vanissa was a cashier at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan.

Together this experienced team is pleased to have been the recipients of the prestigious “Southern California Restaurant Writers Award” from prominent restaurant writers Herbert Blaus of the Orange County Register and Charles Perry of the Los Angeles Times and Best Chinese of 2010, 2011 & 2012 from “myfoxla’s HOTLIST.”

Their former restaurant, The Mandarin Place, was one of only 16 restaurants nationwide to receive the impressive American Express “Salute to Restaurant Service Award.” It was the only Chinese restaurant to win the award in 1990.

China Moon’s fine food is skillfully prepared by Chef James who brings over 12 years experience to the culinary arts and the Manager, Shu who has been in hospitality for over 17 years. In their desire to offer superior cuisine and satisfy your palate, they want to assure their guests that each dish is individually prepared. James and Shu are more than happy to accommodate any personal preference or special dietary considerations.

The dishes you order are graciously served by servers who have been meticulously trained by the Chens to meet your every need.
Upon leaving China Moon, we hope you will agree that you have experienced a real difference in Chinese dining.

We look forward to serving you again and again.

Staff

Jonathan Chen (Owner)

Jonathan Chen (Owner)

Jonathan Chen has been working in his family restaurants since early childhood. His family's first restaurant, Mandarin Place was located in Lake Forest, CA. After school, he would be taken directly to the restaurant to complete his homework and help out with duties around the restaurant.

At the age of 21, he attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and graduated in 2003. After working in several restaurant establishments in his 20’s, he joined forces with his parents Jackson and Vanissa Chen. In 2014, Jonathan took over the family business and is now the owner and operator of China Moon.

Shu (Manager)

Shu Huang (Manager)

Shu has been involved in the food and hospitality industry for almost 20 years. He has experience at all levels in the functioning of a restaurant, including cashier, server, runner, cook, bartender, and management. He enjoys sharing Asian cuisine with others and ensuring excellent customer service for his guests. When he is not working, he enjoys experimenting on new dishes with Chef James and Jonathan, as well as spending time with his 4 year old daughter.

James Nguyen (Head Chef)

James Nguyen (Head Chef)

Chef James found his calling in the culinary world at a later age. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. He came from a family of great cooks but is the only one to pursue in the restaurant industry. He has been in the restaurant industry since the age of 17.
James initially started out in management but quickly realized he had a knack for cooking. He worked through the ranks as a line cook throughout some of Orange County’s best restaurants with the mindset “yes Chef” and “just make it happen” along with the goal of someday becoming a sous-chef and one day running his own kitchen.
Inspired and grateful to have learned from all the great Chefs and mentors he's worked with, he's now on a mission of his own but with the mindset of constantly learning, knowing, understanding– appreciating that each restaurant has its own culture and one must work hard to instill that culture within his team—the result will be in his food and eventually reach out to the diner’s table.

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