Chinese food is very low on my list of favorites, perhaps because I grew up in NYC and the food here on the West Coast just does not make my taste buds say "yeah". There are some very good restaurants in San Francisco, and some decent ones in the Monterey Park and San Gabriel area, but in West LA? Only one makes my list, and that one is Hop Li. Maybe because they have restaurants in Arcadia and Chinatown as well as Westwood and West Los Angeles, they actually cook food Chinese people would eat.
When my friend Mika wanted some Chinese comfort food, Hop Li was the only place near my house that I would take her (because she not only knows good Chinese food, but she has some Chinese in her background). Another plus in favor of Hop Li is that the typical rudeness found in most Chinese places towards nonChinese is absent at Hop Li; Mika even commented about how nice everyone was to both of us.
Mika loves rice, so our rice dish was the BBQ pork fried rice. It was a very generous portion for $7.75. It was full of perfect char su (Chinese BBQ pork), egg, vegetables, and not too greasy. We loved it but could only eat about half of this order (we took the rest to go).
We had to order some vegetables, so we chose the tender greens for $8.75. Simply sauteed in oil and salt, this was a wonderful way to get our vegetables and again the portion was so generous we could only eat half of this dish (and again we took the rest to go).
Since Hop Li is one of the few places that does a dry style chow fun that I like, we got it done with beef for $8.95. The noodles were a bit greasy, but chow fun is very sticky and given a choice between slightly greasy and dry noodles stuck together, I will chose the greasy any day. The scallions and bean sprouts helped make the dish fresh and with the addition of some hot peppers, this dish was a winner. And yes, again we only ate about half and took the rest home.
Hop Li also serves fantastic fresh seafood like lobsters, crabs, and shrimp (see my previous post), so if you are craving Chinese food and are on the Westside of Los Angeles, you have an option that is both good and generous.