Kung Pao China Bistro from “The Office”Feb 10th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: The Office Filming Locations
Last Thursday night’s episode of The Office which was titled “The Search” was hands-down one of my all-time favorite episodes of the series ever! I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! So, when fellow stalker Owen sent me an email the following day which listed all of the locations featured in it, I just about died of excitement! As it turns out, Owen loved the episode just about as much as I did and spent a few hours tracking down each and every locale where filming had taken place. The one I was most excited about stalking was Mr. Choo’s Chinese Food restaurant, which in reality is Kung Pao China Bistro located in Studio City. So I dragged the Grim Cheaper right on over there after stalking the nearby Aroma Coffee & Tea Company which I blogged about yesterday. Well, amazingly enough, when we pulled up to the restaurant, the GC informed me that he had not only eaten there before, but that he had eaten there regularly while living in the Sherman Oaks area a little over a decade ago! As it turns out, Kung Pao China Bistro was one of his mom’s very favorite Los Angeles restaurants and every time she came to visit she would insist on dining there. Well, believe you me, as soon as I heard that I gave him quite a lashing being that he had watched “The Search” episode of The Office with me! How he did not recognize a place that he used to visit regularly is absolutely beyond me! I mean, have I not taught him anything???
In “The Search”, Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) and Jim Halpert (aka John Krasinski) goes on a sales call in Scranton, Pennsylvania. While stopping at a local gas station (which in reality is the Civic Center Gas Station and Mini Mart located at 6171 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys), so that Michael can use the restroom, Jim gets an emergency phone call and winds up leaving Michael stranded, without a wallet or a cell phone. Instead of panicking, Michael decides to take the opportunity to go on a “walkabout” and one of his stops is Mr. Choo’s Chinese Food where he eats a large meal even though he has no money to pay for it. Well, Mr. Choo is none too happy with Michael’s “dine and dash” plan and decides to punish him in the best way he knows how.
In the meantime, Erin Hannon (aka Ellie Kemper), Holly Flax (aka Amy Ryan), and Dwight Schrute (aka Rainn Wilson) go on a “manhunt/rescue mission” to track Michael down and bring him safely back to the Dunder Mifflin office.
They end up wandering into Mr. Choo’s, only to they discover that Michael has been placed on the restaurant’s “Thief Wall”.
And in a genius bit of writing, after Dwight, Erin, and Holly leave Mr. Choo’s, the camera closes in on a photograph of fellow Dunder Mifflin-ite Creed Bratton (aka Creed Bratton) on the “Thief Wall”, a moment which had me literally LOL-ing.
The owners of Kung Pao China Bistro literally could NOT have been nicer and allowed me to take all the photographs of the place that I wanted, even though I was not actually dining there. They also answered all of my silly little questions about the filming and told me that everyone involved was extremely nice.
The owner also let me know that the reason her property was ultimately chosen for the episode was because of the large parking lot situated directly adjacent to the restaurant. The location manager was apparently very excited that there was a parking area where all of the production trucks could be held that was in such close proximity to where filming would be taking place.
I could not remember exactly where the “Thief Wall” was located in the episode (which is why I really need to start carrying screen captures with me when I go on these stalking ventures!), so I unfortunately did not get a good photograph of the right spot. It is just to the right of the restaurant’s front door, though.
Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Owen for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Kung Pao China Bistro, aka Mr. Choo’s Chinese Food restaurant from the “The Search” episode of The Office, is located at 11838 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. The Civic Center Gas Station and Mini Mart which was also featured in the episode is located at 6171 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys