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Feb 11, 2007 07:03 AM

Hollywood East Cafe on the Boulevard - recent changes?

Went to HECOTB about a couple months ago for dim sum on a Sunday and had a wonderful time - food was piping hot from the carts, wonderful variety, the place was packed, and everything was tasty.

We decided to go back on 2/3/07 and noticed a HUGE difference. We went in, and the restaurant was noticeably empty for a Saturday at noon. There were quite a lot of new faces, in fact, I didn't recognize the majority of the staff. We sat down at a table with a greasy lazy susan and were given a pot of generic tea - usually they would ask what kind of tea we would like. The food was very different. There was very little variety with the same items coming around three times, and a lot of the standard items like the fried taro dumplings were nowhere to be found. The wrapping on the shrimp dumplings was thick and doughy - unlike the thin chewy wrappings that we remembered. Even the flavor of the steamed spareribs were completely different than what we had before. All of the steamed food was only lukewarm. The spring rolls were cold and the skin were hard/tough - tasting like they've been refried multiple times. Overall, I was massively disappointed as HECOTB was one of my favorite places to go for dim sum in the area. Anybody have ideas as to what has happened or alternative dim sum places to go?

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  1. We never went for dim sum but have noticed a significant downhill slide in the lunch/dinner dishes. The last time we went our order got screwed up and we waited almost an hour for entrees. The waitress threw in an egg roll as compensation and it was terrible. Our favorite dishes, such as black pepper scallops, don't taste the same and have gone up in price since the opening of the new location. For now we've stopped going to HEONTB as well as the original HE. Too bad it was once my favorite restaurant of any sort.

    1. I have not gone as far as to stop going, but our trips there are quite less frequent. Just not up to its usual standards and coupled with the sometimes surly service, its easier to go elsewhere.

      1. Thats terrible!! They used to have the best BBQ pork - I would see them carry in a whole pig at times. Is it an owner change?

        1. I certainly hope not - maybe it was just an off day. I guess that I was so accustomed to getting some excellent food there that I was extremely disappointed with that experience. Don't know yet whether I have the courage to go back again.

          1. Went the other night for a quick late night dinner. The restaurant looked spruced up and there was a new, very nice waitress who really seemed interested in her guest. The food was excellent: tofu & seafood soup, pork & watercress soup, cold pressed 5 spice tofu, and baby bok choi with garlic were all superb, very light and clean tasting. The best versions of these dishes we have ever had at HECOTB (And these are amongst the most often ordered things we enjoy). So, if this experience is repeated, I would say that after a rough span, they are back. At least I hope so. I am looking forward to a return visit soon for more extensive explorations.