Posted: 1/23/2011Provided by Citysearch -
After driving by this strip mall a thousand times, my husband and I finally decided to give it a try. We had been craving good Peking duck since we moved back from VA where we used to frequent the famous Peking Gourmet Inn and we hadn't found a suitable replacement. Hopwoo is close to where we live, and there was some mention of affordable Peking duck in a few of the reviews, so we decided to give it a whirl. Outside, it's very unassuming. Inside, it's also fairly unassuming, but in an authentic chinese restaurant way. When you walk in, there is a counter with roast duck and pork hanging in the window like you see in many of the Chinatown restaurants and a counter where you can order food-to-go. When you walk past the counter, there is a moderately sized dining area with 80's decor, basic tables, table cloths, and some Chinese-style decorations hanging from some of the walls (like firecrackers you see during the Chinese New Year.) Relatively typical for an authentic Chinese place. Prices are pretty decent for the west side. A standard dish costs anywhere from $6.95 to $12.95, depending on ingredients. It was a bit cold outside, so we ordered the Mustard Green soup with pork for 2 for $5.95. It was a brothy soup, with fresh vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms, and lots of ginger. We both enjoyed it. Next, we ordered the whole Peking Duck for $28.00. The waiter actually came out with the duck and carved the skin for us (something we haven't seen here in LA but is more common at the restaurants we go to in VA.) The skin was crispy and tasty. It was served with fluffy steamed buns that were fresh and filling. The sauce was not as decadent as we liked it, but overall it was good. They normally serve the skin with the buns first, and then cut up the rest of the duck to bring out later to eat with rice. we asked for the meat with our skin, and they happily brought it. It was not de-boned, so we peeled off the meat ourselves and put them in our buns with the crispy skin to make mini tacos. Overall, the meat was juicy and duck was pretty yummy. A good substitute for our favorite place in VA. The service was a bit slow to bring us the check, but we were there close to closing time on a Saturday night. The waiters were courteous though and came when we flagged them down. We did not try any of their other dishes, but since we enjoyed what we had, we would definitely try them again for authentic Chinese food on the Westside.