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Apr 19, 2009 05:00 PM

Hop Woo Best Bets

I have tried and liked their ribs, pressed tofu with sliced pork and off the specials menu their green vegetable and mushroom and egg tofu with dried scallop. Their lobster is nice too. What am I missing out on?

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  1. Which location? Chinatown? Alhambra? WLA?

    1. In WLA, I love the szechuan chicken with spicy garlic sauce.

      2 Replies
      1. re: a_and_w

        aren't there more authentic dishes a la the SGV in the West LA location that aren't on the printed menu???

        1. re: kevin

          Not sure -- I've only gotten delivery thus far. But the szechwan chicken with spicy garlic sauce is authentic in the sense that it's a staple on the menus of authentic sichuan places I've been (usually "shredded chicken with spicy garlic sauce").

      2. Always interested in a good Chinese dish on the westside, especially for lunch. I've ordered their chicken in garlic sauce and the meat was good quality, but too many boring onions and green bell pepper. Tell me more about this dish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nosh

          OK, apologies in advance for any confusion, because I realized recently that I've been ordering from an old menu on-line. I think you probably got the "chicken with spicy garlic and black bean sauce" off the lunch specials. It's unclear to me whether this is the same as the "szechwan chicken with spicy garlic sauce" under the a la carte part of the menu. The green peppers, however, are indeed in the latter. Did the dish also have wood ear and bamboo shoots? And did the sauce have lots of tiny bits of chopped garlic?

        2. IMO Hop Woo is the best Chinese restaurant on the Westside. Their new menu has some interesting dishes that I haven't tried yet.

          Favorites from the Specials on the Wall in Chinese:
          * Steamed ToFu with Seafood wrapped in Lotus Leaf
          * Hand Shredded Chicken with Jellyfish
          * Sauteed Pea Leaves with Black Mushrooms

          Favorites from the Specials:
          * Steamed Live Fish
          * Roast Duck (Inconsistent, but can be very good)

          Favorites from Regular Menu:
          * Live Fish cooked in rice Porridge (some fish meat fall off into the rice porridge and the reamining fish is served on a plate). Order some Chinese donuts to be served with the rice porridge.
          * Sauteed Pea Leaves with garlic

          2 Replies
          1. re: altstarr

            Wow, thanks. I wondered what was on the wall, all three look good. I asked about live fish and all they had was tilapia, are you talking about the cod? Also, is the tofu on the board regular tofu or the egg tofu on the specials?

            By the way,. the shrimp in black bean sauce on the sizzling skillet is ok, and think the mushroom and dried scallop soup is only so so (sort of like an unspicy hot and sour)

            1. re: noshie

              Sometimes we get live rock cod, sometimes live Talapia. The rice porridge with live fish uses Talapia.

              The Tofu with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf is a soft Tofu ... I don't know what egg tofu is, but there doesn't seem to be any egg or yellow color.

          2. We went to the West LA Hop Woo for dinner last night for the first time in a little while. The specials that are written in Chinese on the eraser board by the tanks are now also on the first page of their new printed/laminated menu, pictures included. The dining room was full last night, and almost every table was occupied Chinese diners. Most appeared to have ordered many dishes off the "Specials" portion of the menu, live fish and lobster, as well sharkfin soup. I know they will always be nay-sayers, but IMHO, this place is the best Chinese in the Westside by far.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka

              The strip mall on the S/W corner of Sepulveda and Olympic with Hop Woo on the inside is a parking nightmare during weekday lunch. Just about every business except the dry cleaner is a food place, and people park along the inner walkway directly in front of the businesses. This backs things up at either end, as people nose in trying to park and then can't retreat into the fast-moving traffic. Then the honking starts... They need to make that a one-way lot.

              1. re: nosh

                We usually avoid this neck of the woods on weekdays - it must be horrendous in general - but weeknights might be easier on Pontius. We usually go here on weekends if we need our Chinese cuisine fix but started out too late for the SGV trek. Pontius was wide open last night for parking. Street lighting is almost nonexistent but the general area is good - it balances out.