Lifestyles of the Rich and Fact-Checked
‘Enjoy ‘Rich and Famous’ Robin Leach’s favorite, Chef Cheng’s Mandarin & Szechwan food’
Statement: “Enjoy ‘Rich and Famous’ Robin Leach’s favorite, Chef Cheng’s Mandarin & Szechwan food,” says every menu at China Too, 915 5th Ave.
Determination: Mostly True
Analysis: There’s nothing extravagantly glamorous about the Gaslamp Quarter restaurant called China Too. Its small tables, oriental exterior and disposable paper menus give it the typical décor of a Chinese takeout restaurant.
So it came as a surprise to read the endorsement of Robin Leach on the front of its menu. Leach, now entertaining Las Vegas crowds, is best known for his reports on the television show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which ended production in the 1990s.
So is the fare at China Too Leach’s favorite? We gave him a call to find out. When told the name of the restaurant, Leach asked where it’s located. When told its address and neighborhood, he still couldn’t recall ever being there.
“This is part of the problem that comes with being famous,” Leach said. “I think you better go back and ask when I was last there.”
Leach said he has never eaten at the restaurant.
Employees at China Too said the endorsement had been passed along from the restaurant’s previous owner, who moved the business from a New York shop where Leach used to eat. The menu didn’t change when the previous owner left, so the food selection is still the same as Leach adored in New York years ago.
I asked Leach if the restaurant’s endorsement is false. He said, “I’m not going to say that.”
“It doesn’t say I’ve been there. I do happen to love Chinese food,” he added. The statement is “pushing the limit a little bit, but … it’s true.”
Leach said he lived in New York for 35 years, and he used to eat Chinese food every week. He doesn’t remember endorsing the Chef Cheng mentioned on China Too’s menu, but he complimented a lot of Chinese chefs in New York, so it’s plausible.
So, while Leach has never been to China Too in San Diego, he extended his support to its menu.
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— KEEGAN KYLE