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On Tuesday I stopped for a lunch break in West LA on my drive south. Thanks to the intell from ex-chowhounds over on FTC, I decided to try the newly introduced Sichuan menu at long time Cantonese eatery, Hop Woo BBQ & Seafood.
And it's true. Genuine Sichuan eats can be found on a small separate section of the menu here. The toothpick lamb dish was tasty, but not nearly as good as the version at Chengdu Style near UC Davis. I found it a bit too dry, not crisp, and seasoned mostly with straight-on chile heat without other complexity besides a whiff of cumin and some fresh cilantro. But again, it was good enough.
This place does have the redeeming feature as perhaps the one spot on the Westside where one could brave ordering Chinese. Oh, from the looks (and MSG-laden taste) of the comped egg drop soup with canned peas and carrots, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the main menu. However, I would love to hear what anyone else has tried from the Sichuan side.
Staff were very nice. I heard them speaking only Cantonese and English to each other in front and back of house. And easy on and off the freeway for me to be on my way again quickly.
11110 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Pro tip: The parking lot at this little strip mall is tiny and full. I found unmetered one-hour street parking on Tennessee Avenue east of Sepulveda.
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