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Hop Woo vs Hop Li in West LA

OK, I surrender. Now that I've moved to Venice and my trips to SGV have drastically declined to almost nil, which one of these two will give me the best Chinatown-quality stuff - like fried rice, beef with scallions, salt and pepper squid, bar b q pork, hot sour soup, egg rolls, etc?

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

Hop Li Seafood Restaurant
10974 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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  1. My vote goes to Mandarin Kitchen on Westwood Blvd., since these are the original owners of Hop Woo who sold that off and opened up their new venue. Not sure about the specific items on their menu, though. They do have fish maw soup which I consider a multi plus factor.

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

    Mandarin Kitchen
    1822 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    6 Replies
      1. re: wilafur

        Mandarin Kitchen, in the strip mall with Eduardo's on Westwood just south of Santa Monica Blvd., has the best hot n sour soup. The Mongolian beef is excellent, as is the scallops with garlic sauce and wonderful assorted vegetables. They serve their lunch special until 5. Chicken with black bean or chili sauce is mediocre -- the usual big chunks of onion and bell pepper -- but the chicken is good quality.

        Other good lunch on the west side is Hu's, for their kung pao chicken, twice-cooked pork, or garlic eggplant, served with a good hot n sour soup and a nice Chinese chicken salad.

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        Mandarin Kitchen
        1822 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

        1. re: nosh

          I love Mandarin Kitchen and I also like that they deliver.

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          Mandarin Kitchen
          1822 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

          1. re: maudies5

            I'm alarmed by nosh's endorsement of Hu's, which is such a dismal restaurant it makes me distrust his endorsement of Mandarin Kitchen. :D

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            Mandarin Kitchen
            1822 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

            1. re: echoparkdirt

              I have to agree with you about Hu's. Really, really ordinary.

            2. re: maudies5

              Fast fast delivery and a choice of three different kinds of porridge although they don't serve the toppings. Huge portions as well. Certainly SGV quality which is more than I can say about Hop Li (although the SM Blvd close to Bundy is the better location - the Pico location cuisine is very greasy).

      2. Chinese on the westside is rough, friend. Good luck!

        1. Hop Li (Pico) for the Yang Chow fried rice.

          Hop Woo for roast duck and steamed fish.

          Hop Li (Santa Monica) for any noodles.

          Mandarin Kitchen for chicken & beef dishes.

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

          Mandarin Kitchen
          1822 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

          4 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            Im thinking on hosting a dinner for 5 at Hop Li. Of the 2 locations I have been to the Pico location only. ( very busy and thought the food was good ) OKAY that was a few years back. The group Im taking would not drive to the SGV ( I would ) so I need to make the best of it! The $5 corkage does not hurt either. Took a peek at the website and they have a very compelling Banquet Menu for about $150 for the table, looks good. Heck its only dinner. Hounds what say you.. of the two Pico or Santa Monica ? http://hoplirestaurant.com/

            1. re: Foodandwine

              Santa Monica location does banquets far better than the Pico location.

              1. re: J.L.

                I went to the Santa Monica location of Hop Li ( very poor ) I like Pico and went to a Banquet set up by Darell Lee at the Downtown Location ( just fantastic ) I am just not a fan of the Santa Monica location..

                1. re: Foodandwine

                  Agree that experiences are not consistent at SM Hop Li. It was much more consistently (good) when it was JR Seafood.

          2. Tried the salt and pepper squid at Hop Li a couple of years ago and havent been back since...soft, squishy squid that almost smelled bad...ugh, one of my truly worst squid experiences evah!
            JL, on your advice i will give their noodles a try...

            1. hop WOO. its way better. the people who work there are friendlier, i think its cleaner, its always pretty bustling.

              they have some solid dishes - the braised pork belly with preserved vegetables, the ubiquitous (but delicious) szechuan chicken with garlic sauce, the eggplant, the west lake beef soup (decent but not great), the roasted duck, pork chops with spicy garlic salt.

              of the dishes you mention, ive had the hot sour soup (pretty good) - not the others - but i really think hop woo is absolutely decent for a west LA chinese place.