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Nov 14, 2009 11:08 AM

Westsiders Rejoice! Fish Maw on Westwood Boulevard

Have I been asleep at the wheel! A semi-authentic Chinese restaurant opened up on Westwood Blvd. at the start of the year (semi-authentic is the best we can hope for in WLA) and I'm just finding out about it now. Indeed, I was in the same strip center a few days ago at Eduardo's Border Grill and failed to notice Mandarin Kitchen, erroneously concluding it was the same place that had opened up there last year. Actually, in a previously unreported ownership development, Mandarin Kitchen is the new Hop Woo. The owners of Hop Woo sold the restaurant several months ago (which means that the Hop Woo on Olympic and Sepulveda is a changed operation), then took over what had been Lu's Chinese Kitchen at 1822 Westwood Bl. Of course, you have to humor part of the Westside constituency by calling the restaurant Mandarin Kitchen when there's a predominantly Hong Kong style menu. Also there is the matter of the separate section on the menu containing egg foo young and chop suey dishes. But for the most part, the menu is comparable to what you'd find at a Hong Kong style restaurant in the SGV, and like the old Hop Woo, the food is decently good.

Border Grill
1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Eduardo's Border Grill
1830 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Hop Woo
11110 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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  1. I, too, mistakenly assumed this was the same place that opened up a while back. Thanks for the tip!

    1. How was the fish maw prepared?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Soup--your choice of crab meat or chicken. Full seafood menu, dou miou, congee (including Chinese donuts), clay pots.

      2. I'm totally confused! What is the address of the Mandarin Kitchen?

        Mandarin Kitchen
        1822 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

        2 Replies
        1. re: mnosyne

          1822 Westwood Blvd., in the shopping center next to the car wash at Santa Monica and Westwood.

          1. re: mnosyne

            A brief trip to Mr. Google reveals that have:

            Crab Meat and Fish Maw Soup - $8.95 / $13.95

            And a web address:


          2. I tried out this place yesterday: just like Chandavkl said, it's semi-authentic, but it's really not bad for Westside. They even have frogs on their menu.

            I ordered Squid with chili black bean sauce - which was actually quite good, and Baked Pork Chop with salt & pepper - it's not the best rendition of this dish, first bite was a bit greasy, but I went on and demolished the whole serving in record time.

            Staff were all Mandarin speaking so it diminished the authentic feel for me a Canto speaker, but I guess we can't ask for me on the westside. They were real busy - constant streams of take out and phone orders customers at weekday 4pm, so I bet they will be the stable of my 'hood for time to come.

            2 Replies
            1. re: keepon

              Maybe the staff at Mandarin Kitchen speak Mandarin because most of the mulitlingual locals would know the difference between Cantonese & Mandarin...

              1. re: keepon


                Did you really expect the servers at a joint called "Mandarin Kitchen" to speak Cantonese? Come on, they have to keep it authentic!

              2. Also tried MK last night. Had the chicken with black bean and chili sauce. It was a good rendition of this dish. Also had the egg drop soup which was enjoyable. Portions were very large and service was welcoming.