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Restaurants & Bars

WLA: Hop Woo, da Pasquale, Hu's, El Rincon Criollo, Royal Star

boyk | Jan 1, 200806:05 PM     11

Hop Woo (Olympic Bl at Sepulveda, in West L.A.) disappointed us a lot on our first try over the last weekend (preceding New Year's). Da Pasquale in Beverly Hills (reliable, excellent, and very fair-priced--and they deliver) was closed for holidays; ditto Hu's, which we've eaten at or from hundreds of times---not the SGV of course; not consistent, but OK, especially if you're eating there. So we tried Hop Woo delivery, and a man with a very nice voice and manner delivered our four or five dishes. I found them literally inedible. I had PBJ instead. My wife and son ate but didn't like, though one dish was less bad than the others. We cannot understand how the place has received positive notices. Did the chef recently change? Was he taking the holidays off? Or, in the grip of SGV-starvation, are people grateful for anything identifiable as Chinese, whether or not it tastes good? Anyway, for what it's worth -- and it gives me no pleasure to say it -- this was our experience. Oh yes, I almost forgot: we had a very enjoyable meal at El Rincon Criollo last week. My Lechon Asada was noticeably delicious, as were the "moros" and plantains; also the soft drinks with sugar instead of the hated corn syrup were tasty. (It was lunch-time.) O why did Royal Star (in Santa Monica) stop making its very good dim sum and then go out of business? As the only the only good Chinese restaurant on the west side, didn't it have a moral---nay, a legal---obligation to continue to feed our family?

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