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Aug 13, 2010 11:21 AM

Whole Roast Pig from Chinatown?

Good Morning Hounds:

We attended a birthday party in mid-July, where a whole, roast pig was served. It was delicious, and incredible! My husband is Cuban, and he said he thought the chinese style was even better than the Cuban style roast pig.

The hosts told us they bought the pig at Sam Woo in Chinatown for about $180, but I've seen posts here that Sam Woo in Chinatown closed in early July. How could that be, when we had this pig in mid-late-July?

Any idea where this pig came from? It looked exactly like the roast pig photo posted by Monku in another Chowhound post, which came from Sam Woo in Monterrry Park. Oh, and it came with a hoisin-like plum sauce, and they also served a delicious fried rice dish that was loaded with scallions and shitake mushrooms.

Thank you,

Sam Woo Cafe
727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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  1. Thought that was my picture.
    Sam Woo Chinatown on Broadway is now called Hong Kong BBQ, same owners as before. You might want to check out CBS Seafood, I see a lot of roast pigs going out of there on weekends too.

    CBS Seafood
    700 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Hong Kong BBQ
    803 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

    8 Replies
    1. re: monku

      The name change occurred at least a year ago, I'm thinking it could be almost 2 years.

      1. re: monku

        And you can bet that anyone who grew up calling it "Sam Woo" will continue to do so no matter how many times the name changes. I'm a late arrival and I still call it that...

        $180 for a whole one of those pigs sounds like a bargain! For some reason it had never occurred to me to inquire about that.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Piglet is acceptable too.
                The character from Winnie-the-Pooh.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    So do I, yum, yum! Or should I say, "Rum-tum-tum-tiddle-um!"

    2. I just logged on to look up old threads on Sam Woo and see this post at the top of the day's list. Years ago, on this board, someone told this then recent transplant from NYC that I should replace my longings for New York Noodletown by going to Sam Woo. But 6 years later, I've never been. Is there any agreement on which Sam Woo location is the "best"? I'm thinking of going in a few hours.

      4 Replies
      1. re: George

        Everyone seems to have their favorite. I like the Alhambra one, my brother-in-law likes the San Gabriel one on Las Tunas. Supposedly the duck at the Monterey Park one is the best, everyone I see there is eating the duck in some way. The one in Chinatown is good too.

        1. re: monku

          My vote also goes to the Sam Woo in Alhambra (on Valley and Sixth St.).

          Been there now for probably 30 years I'd guess.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I agree with ipse. I've probably eaten there for about as long as ipse.

        2. re: George

          I grew up on NYC Chinatown food and Sam Woo seems the closest to those old noodle joints. remember as a kid a char sui lo mein was like 75 cents.

        3. have you considered getting a whole roast pig from a Filipino restaurant? there are many in and around Cerritos and Carson that offer great roast pig. Manila Lechon in Carson and Hong Kong Bakery down the street in Torrance are two such places. Their prices are around $180 too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sadiegirl

            What about Eva's Lechon, on Beverly Blvd?

          2. Just to clear the confusion, there were once four Sam Woo restaurants in Chinatown--the original on Broadway now called Hong Kong BBQ, the Sam Woo seafood in the Food Center that was sold and is now called Sum Wu, the old bbq express in the Food Center which was sold and is now called San Woo BBQ Express, and the Sam Woo Cafe which just closed down a few weeks ago.

            Hong Kong BBQ
            803 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

            Sam Woo Cafe
            727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chandavkl

              Yes Chandavki is right. Sam Woo is everywhere including in Cerritos and even Las Vegas where we had lunch there this past weekend. Prices vary at all locations especially in Las Vegas.

              1. re: Clinton

                Don't get me wrong, I like Sam Woo's, but the only thing they all have in common is the name and that's it. Menu's, preparations and prices aren't even the same. Only the name.

            2. There is a Vietnamese shop on Broadway in Chinatown, can't remember the name right now. I stopped in to pick up some baguettes when I got off the bus. There on the counter was this beautiful roast pig, waiting for someone to take him home. The scent was like perfume, and the skin looked crispy, I had to hold myself back from snagging a chunk. I had to leave to catch my bus; let me do a search to find out the name & address. Oh, that memory still haunts me.

              1 Reply
              1. re: la vida dulce

                Probably Lien Hoa. They have the best baguettes in the hood. I've bought their suckling pig two years in a row now and everyone loves it (and I love dismembering the carcass for ramen stock).

                Anyway, before the first party I did a tasting of all the pig in Chinatown and Lien Hoa was the winner. This year, I considered getting a filipino lechon but heard mixed reviews about Eva's and when I asked about it at Kapistahan they kind of gave me the runaround. So back to Lien Hoa I went.