Nice Time Deli in Irvine Closing. Serving Its Last Lunch Saturday April 30.

Edwin Goei
Open for now, but not for long.
The news came as a surprise: Nice Time Deli in Irvine will be serving its last meal tomorrow at lunch, Saturday, and then closing for good. Fellow Weekling Michelle Woo told me about it this morning, and my reaction was immediate sadness.

For many like me, the final bow of Nice Time Deli marks the end of an era. The Taiwanese purveyor of pai gu fan (pork chop rice) and other standards has fed countless families for more than a decade, but its cheap prices was especially beloved by students from nearby UC Irvine and Irvine Valley College.

I know many fellow UC Irvine alumni who regarded it as their home away from home, a sanctuary between study sessions, midterms and finals that served familiar food: inexpensive, accessible, unfussy, and most importantly good. There have been swings in quality, but for the most part, it has been doggedly dependable.

Other Nice Time Deli's in San Gabriel and Arcadia are already gone, nothing more than a memory. But until now, this Irvine branch seemed immune to failure, revived and remodeled a few years ago by new owners to stand through the ages. But apparently, it was just a stay of execution.

I called the restaurant today to confirm the closure and asked the woman how long they'll be open tonight. They'll be open till 9 p.m. And then tomorrow's curtain call.

Until then, I'm looking forward to eating my last plate of rice and pork chops! Xìexìe Nice Time Deli, and zàijiàn!

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Location Info

Nice Time Deli

5408 Walnut Ave., Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

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Cunning Stunts
Cunning Stunts

Its back open, but I think its some sort of dumpling house now. Its packed, so that's a good sign


I meant to comment on this on Friday. Sad news indeed.

I hope you got to go for the final lunch. And please tell us where we can now find exceptional crispy fried pork chop!!


the real nice time deli closed years ago. i think it was around 2005. they just allowed the current owner to use their english name. if you notice the last character in chinese is not the same as what it used to be.

George Hu
George Hu

NNNNOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo =(((((

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