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Opinions on Sam Woo's

I was just reading the 61 rating thread on Sam Woo's (not a big surprise, Chinese restaurants don't rate very well in general). But, they've been around forever, and yet we never go there. I've never heard any chinese person recommend them, either. Considering the breadth & depth of chinese restaurants in Southern California, how does Sam Woo's rate & what's good about them?

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  1. let me put it in an analogy... do you recommend your friend to go to Denny's? Or Mimis Cafe? etc etc.

    I go to SamWoo for convinent and variety of common-yet-variey of family dishes.

    I'm chinese raise & born in HK for 18 yrs. So... that's my take of it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kelvlam

      I guess I rate Sam Woo higher than you do. I struggle to find places that do regular staples like chicken chow mein and beef chow fun as good as Sam Woo does. My local Sam Woo gives me nice fat won tons stuffed with shrimp that very few other places come close to equaling, much less being better.

      But I live in OC, where solid Cantonese food is much harder to find.

      Just curious, what places would you recommend for chicken chow mein (Hong Kong style), beef chow fun, and won ton soup? My list for these favorite dishes is way too short, and I'd love to know at least 5 places that you would rank over Sam Woo to get this stuff. Only place in OC that I've found to be on par with Sam Woo is SW Seafood.

      I tried Har Lam Kee in SGV, and that was pretty good. Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Recommendations in OC would make me consider you Chinese food god. :-)

    2. go for the Canto equivalent of comfort food. Cha sui and rice (or any BBQ+rice), various saucy/gravy and rice dishes, won ton mein, yang chow fried rice, etc. More like hang over food than transcendental grub. You can go to other places for better dishes of the same, but how much better can these dishes get? One can pretty much find the same at the various HK/Western style cafes in the SGV, so we pretty much bypass Sam Woo's now a days unless we're looking for take out BBQ.

      1. it also depends on which location as well. some are not a as good or clean as others.

        1. I think they vary. I used to live in Rowland Heights and would go there to grab take out BBQ pork and some sides or a garlic/soy sauce chicken. Average cost for a huge meal = $6, which you really can't beat after a long day of work. My parents, who are Americanized Chinese, really liked their dim sum. I thought it was fair. Overall, it was great for convenience. It was better than anything I can now get in West LA or Marina del Rey, where I now live.

          1. Not all Sam Woo chain reataurants are the same in my opinion. Prices vary too. I find most of them are a little higher than most Chinese places (especially the one in Las Vegas). Dishes are quite generic but decent. Foodwise, It's like saying which McDonald's is the best? It fills the tummy but not really a place to gather the clan for a special night out.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Clinton

              I go to the one on Sepulveda for the roast duck, yummy.