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Return To Wah's Golden Hen For Old Time Cantonese

Chandavkl Oct 3, 2011 03:51 PM

I've driven by Wah's Golden Hen literally hundreds of times since it's just around the corner from my in-laws' house. However it's been over 30 years since I've stepped foot in and eaten at the place, since old time Cantonese food hasn't been my first choice for, well, much more than 30 years. However, for those who are looking for that type of food, it could be what you're seeking, . They have most of the old time favorites including chop suey, egg foo yung, egg rolls, etc., and the lady behind the counter is Toishanese. They also have some items I don't recall seeing at an old time Chinese restaurant including shrimp with bitter melon and squid with green beans. I had the fried fish fillet, essentially a mild version of fish with pepper salt, which was OK. Was surprised at how much business they were doing--nearly full at 11:30 am, including guys in suits (I didn't think guys in suits worked anyplace close by). Of course, where else can you get a $3.50 lunch special (fried rice, chow mein, and your choice of egg foo yung or sweet and sour chicken). Wah's Golden Hen is at 709 N. Virgil. Fans of old time Cantonese might want to take a single trip to also hit up the other mid-city sentinel for this type of food at the same time--Bamboo Inn at 2007 W. 7th St., which has the bonus of Raymond Chandler like ambiance.

Golden Hen
709 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

  1. Chandavkl May 14, 2012 05:08 PM

    Wah's has been closed for remodeling for a number of weeks. I hope it is a remodel in response to their being named this year by Eater LA as one of the top 10 Chinese restaurants outside the San Gabriel Valley, as opposed to the usual meaning when a Chinese restaurant is "Closed For Remodeling".

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl
      JThur01 May 14, 2012 08:44 PM

      Depends. Did you see a stepladder placed strategically by the door?

      1. re: Chandavkl
        ribena8 Jun 18, 2012 11:07 AM

        it's open again! they just renovated

      2. e
        EdSails Jun 24, 2012 06:26 PM

        Did you happen to notice if they had pressed duck, either the almond or sweet and sour version. I have been searching out a few places that still have it. My favorite "old style Cantonese" dish.

        1. Tripeler Jun 24, 2012 07:11 PM

          Wow, with a name like that I wonder if they also serve some sort of Golden Egg novelty dish?

          1. JeMange Jan 29, 2014 10:40 PM

            Man, I tried it out tonight for takeout and gotta say I found the food to be inedible.

            The egg rolls were pretty darned disgusting and the mongolian beef was ridiculously greasy.

            On the upside, the woman running the place was sweet as pie.

            12 Replies
            1. re: JeMange
              ns1 Jan 29, 2014 11:11 PM

              The place has amazing yelp reviews. Go figure?

              1. re: ns1
                J.L. Jan 29, 2014 11:20 PM

                Those wacky Yelpsters are upselling again...

                1. re: J.L.
                  JeMange Jan 29, 2014 11:36 PM

                  There was an article in Eater LA, I believe - can't seem to locate the link - 10 Best Chinese Restaurants Outside of the SGV.

                  Turned out Golden Hen was on it and is a short drive from my house. I was working late so I figured, "how bad could it be?"

                  The answer is very, awfully, criminally bad.

                  1. re: JeMange
                    JeMange Jan 30, 2014 09:39 AM

                    I'm the farthest thing from being a food snob but bad food is bad food. I wasn't expecting something on par with a great SGV place. I was expecting decent Cantonese style americanized food.

                    The egg roll was filled with what appeared to be green/gray paste - no texture and a musty flavor. It was simply disgusting.

                    The mongolian beef was a little better but that's not saying much. It was unbelievably greasy. I'm sorry but I'm going to stand by my inedible comment.

                    Sorry - this comment was in response to Chandavki below.

                    1. re: JeMange
                      TonyC Jan 30, 2014 01:50 PM


                      sorry not sorry.

                      1. re: TonyC
                        ns1 Jan 30, 2014 02:00 PM

                        TonyC like a honey badger, DGAF.

                        1. re: TonyC
                          JeMange Jan 30, 2014 09:32 PM

                          I don't give a f**k. I just found myself not giving said f**k in the wrong place.

                    2. re: ns1
                      Chandavkl Jan 30, 2014 08:29 AM

                      I think this place is great for its target audience, which does not include most of us. Drove by a few Saturdays ago and there were people waiting to get in.

                      1. re: Chandavkl
                        ns1 Jan 30, 2014 09:28 AM

                        I have no issue with americanized chinese food...hell I still think uncle john ham n eggs makes (made?) some of the best fried pork chops I've had in LA ^_^

                        srsly, anyone know where I can get awesome pork chops like this?


                        1. re: ns1
                          ipsedixit Jan 30, 2014 02:41 PM

                          Uncle John's is the bomb.

                          Been pimping that place since like forever, esp. the pork chops.

                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            ns1 Jan 30, 2014 02:46 PM

                            hell yeah. haven't been though since they moved :(

                            has it changed, better or worse?

                            1. re: ns1
                              ipsedixit Jan 30, 2014 03:08 PM


                              It's too clean. Not gentrified (like so much of DTLA), but Uncle John's should be greasy, grungy, and grimy.

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