The rumors are true: Lido Chinese Restaurant, 2518 Military Dr., will close next week when March ends.
Much to the chagrin of my esteemed colleague Steve Lackmeyer, the 30-year-old restaurant that helped build the Asian District as we know it today is packing up its wonton soup, it’s claypots and vermicelli bowls and calling it a career.
Since December, rumors have swirled around social media about the future of the restaurant. Owner Eric Ly spoke with me briefly last week and confirmed he planned to close at month’s end.
“It’s time,” he said. “Thirty years is a long time.”
Affects of COVID
A yearlong pandemic certainly took a toll, and frozen underground pipes earlier this year that disrupted service did not help.
I’d hoped to sit down with Eric for a longer interview, but his schedule has been understandably hectic. Lido even quit serving on weekends recently.
However, don’t be surprised if the history of Lido doesn’t end next week. It’s my understanding new ownership isn’t out of the question.
If someone does step up to continue Lido’s narrative, they will inherit a restaurant that opened at its longtime home in the Asian District in January 1991. Tai Ly, Eric’s father, modeled it after his New Paris restaurant in Los Angeles, serving authentic Vietnamese, Chinese and French cuisine.
A second location operated at the corner of Britton Road and North May Avenue for a time during the late 1990s before becoming Kim Wah. Lido was among the first restaurants in the Asian District to feature a “secret menu” of authentic entrees and dishes aside from the expected Sweet and Sour and Kung Pao offerings.
So, if you’re in the mood for a vermicelli bowl or a fish claypot, act by Thursday. The dining room is open, but Lido is a top choice for carryout and delivery.
For the remainder of its run, Lido will be open Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 9:30 p.m. on Fridays. It’s closed Saturday and Sunday.