(Last UPDATED 7/22/2022) Ma Jong’s Asian Diner has joined the list of Sacramento restaurants permanently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. NEW: See UPDATE below.
The following was recently posted on Ma Jong’s website:
Ma Jong’s Asian Diner is closed. The pandemic and lack of business downtown has been difficult. Thank you for 16 years of great friendships and joyous memories.
Description and review of Ma Jong’s Asian Diner, an Asian Fusion counter-service fast-casual restaurant located on L Street across from Capitol Park.
When I worked in Downtown Sacramento I would occasionally go to lunch at Ma Jong’s. It shares a nice outdoor patio and restrooms with Cafeteria 15L.
A friend and I were going to an event at the Community Center Theatre just down the street, so we decided to catch a bite at Ma Jong’s beforehand as we were a bit more pressed for time than usual.
The indoor dining area was bustling, but there were several open tables so we were not concerned. We joined the short line and looked at the menu while we waited to have our orders taken.
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We both ordered a glass of wine which was given to us along with a number to display on the table so that the server could deliver our meals. The water, soft drinks, condiments, silverware, fortune cookies, etc. are self-serve.
Ma Jong’s has an attractive Asian décor (check out the rickshaw out front on the sidewalk) and pleasant atmosphere. I have always also found the staff to be both friendly and attentive.
It did not take me long to decide what I wanted for dinner – I was in the mood for a salad. In fact, I was specifically in the mood for Ma’s Chinese Chicken Salad (shredded chicken breast, lettuce, onions, bean sprouts, carrots, mandarin oranges, sesame seeds, crispy won tons, rice noodles, Ma’s secret dressing) ($8.95).
My friend ordered the Pad Thai (rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, eggs, carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts, scallions, Thai special sauce) ($9.50).
While Ma Jong’s offerings are not necessarily “authentic” the food is fresh and tasty – and affordable.
My Chinese chicken salad was very refreshing. I was a bit surprised by the abundance of tender shredded chicken found throughout – but I am certainly not complaining. The flavor of the “secret dressing” nicely complemented the other ingredients – in particular the mandarin oranges.
My friend enjoyed her Pad Thai. The serving was more than adequate – so she took the leftovers with her when we left.
Our meals had been served in short order so we still had time to enjoy our wine and catch up on things. The staff is very good about clearing off the tables when you finish a dish – which is something I always appreciate.
Ma Jong’s is a good option for a bite to eat when you are downtown and want a quick bite. During the week at lunch time, however, it is best to go early or late if you are in a rush and want to eat in. Ma Jong’s also does a very brisk take-out business at lunch I have noticed.
See related blog posts: Walk Down Memory Lane and Annual Sacramento Restaurant Reviews Recap (2017)
(7/22/2022) What closed restaurant (2020 to present) do you miss the most? was the question the Sacramento Bee asked in a recent survey. Five restaurants made the list of the most missed restaurants:
- Ma Jong’s Asian Restaurant (See Ma Jong’s blog post)
- Roxy Restaurant & Bar
- Biba Restaurant (See Biba Ristorante Italiano and Biba Revisited)
- Lucca (See Lucca Restaurant & Bar)
- Harry’s Café
The only restaurant on the list I had not patronized prior to its closure was Roxy Restaurant & Bar, and I have blogged about three of the five. I regret not blogging about Harry’s – it was a low-key hangout for legislators, legislative staff and lobbyists, among others.
Comments on Ma Jong’s?
Did you have a favorite dish at Ma Jong’s? What was it?
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The signature dishes are also good, though I always have a hard time deciding between the orange peel or black bean sauce. This is my standard pre-Community Center Theater spot because I can always be out of there in time for the show; no worry about waiting for the check, etc. Also, it is vegetarian-friend approved!
Thanks Melissa for your comment!