The owners of San Marino’s New Moon restaurant purchased the property on Huntington Drive property during the pandemic. They have been inundated with new experiences ever since, as most make them feel like experts in a field that they were once complete newcomers.
When she was asked what the most popular dishes that New Moon serves, Helen Nguyen had a quick answer. “Kids love our orange chicken,” she said, noting that the dish is also popular with adults. “And the chow mein.” Chow mein also has a strong following and accompanies about 70% of the orders that pass through the kitchen.
Personally, Nguyen prefers the teamed fish. “It’s lighter, and healthier,” she said.
Nguyen also tells us that all of New Moon’s food is made to order.
“Our chefs will make just about anything,” she said. “The other day, someone ordered walnut chicken and one of the chefs made it.”
Nguyen said that her chefs are also prepared to make all dishes with low-sodium or low-sugar options. They also are prepared to make anything gluten-free.
Nguyen said that the occasional communication gap can arise in the kitchen. Nhuyen speaks Vietnamese while the chefs speak Chinese. “We use Google-translate” Nguyen explains, “but sometimes I have to get friends to translate for me,” she said.
Following a foray into health care, New Moon represents Nguyen’s first entrée into the resturant trade. Nguyen is also very passionate about her children, and has designed fundraisers at New Moon with Carver Elementary School as well as San Marino’s wrestling and water polo teams, with the school receiving a part of the proceeds. Her oldest son, Richard, wrestled for the Titans last year and is ready to hit the mat again this season.
Nguyen is also planning some special menu items for San Marino’s upcoming concert in the park season as well as San Marino Night Out.
She appreciates her loyal customers, who have been patronizing the restaurant since it opened in 2012.
She is also proud of employing several high school students and providing some “real-world” experience.