The China Star Super Buffet may be going out of business soon. Until a few years ago, Oceanside had six Chinese buffets. All had gone out of business except for China Star, at the southeast corner of Mission Avenue at I-5 (next to the Ocean’s Eleven Casino.)
1401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside
Last week, a "FOR LEASE" sign was posted on the restaurant’s fence facing the northbound I-5 freeway off-ramp. I asked the longtime brother and sister general managers, John and Li, “Is the restaurant closing or selling?” They said they didn’t know about the sign being posted until I pointed it out.
The next day, John and Li said they were leaving China Star in about four weeks, moving to a soon-to-open new restaurant, Royal Buffet, at the northwest corner of El Camino Real at Mission Avenue, in east Oceanside.
On April 15, Donna from the leasing agent Retail Insite, said the China Star lease ends in November. She said the owner, Deepak Choksi, is looking for new proposals. A new lessee could continue the Chinese buffet, change the type of restaurant, or tear it down and build something new. Choksi also owns the Travelodge Motel next door.
The distinctive China Star building, with its rock-face exterior and octagon-shaped roof, was at one time part of the local Jimmy’s Restaurant chain. Each of the seven former Jimmy’s locations in San Diego County had the same façade and roofline. Most are still in use as restaurants but not as Jimmy’s.
The speculation from regular China Star customers is that Carlsbad’s newly remodeled Luxe Asian Buffet at the Westfield Shopping Center has hurt China Star’s popularity. Luxe opened about three months ago and offers more choices than China Star, including a meat-carving station, Mongolian barbecue, and a dessert station with a chocolate fountain and ten flavors of hand-dipped ice-cream cones.
(revised 4/24, 11:25 a.m)