End Of The Era of Authentic Chinese Food on Melrose

Breaking this off from another thread, confirming that after two decades and a string of restaurants including Kim Tar and BBQ Unlimited, the restaurant location at 4808 Melrose in East Hollywood has fallen into Chinese/Korean hands. No more hanging Cantonese roast meats and no more better than Chinatown food. You can get your Korean Chinese favorites such as sweet and sour beef and jajiang myeon. And you pay Koreatown prices with most entrees between $14 and $27. And the sign over the back entrance is mostly Korean. But the operators are Chinese. I can only hope that the food at iXlb will be decent when it opens up next week.

Thanks for the news @chandavkl.

On a related note from what you said, I just thought about it, but are the traditional “Cantonese / HK BBQ” places with Roast Duck, Roast Pig, Charsiu, Soy Sauce Chicken becoming an endangered species in L.A.?

I remember being taken to the SGV years ago, and seeing a bunch of Sam Woo BBQ restaurants, and other competitors with Roast Duck, Chicken, etc. hanging, ready to be chopped up for lunch / to-go, etc. I don’t recall seeing any the last time I visited the SGV recently.

Is it all just Szechaun and spicy restaurants nowadays? I guess there’s no longer a market or demand for that type of food?

There’s still enough places around in the SGV. selling Cantonese roast meats. The fact that Monterey Palace can open up a second branch in San Gabriel focusing on the bbq meats (and use the name “Monterey”) speaks to the continuing demand. But Cantonese food is clearly a small fraction of the Chinese food in the SGV these days.

Thanks @chandavkl. What are some recommended places for great Cantonese / HK BBQ these days? Monterey Palace?

Yes, Monterey Palace, either the original store on Garvey, or the new one on Valley near Del Mar. Particularly their premium chicken.

Sam Woo is still insanely great. I love the new-ish one in Rosemead. I cannot imagine better Roast Pork than the slab I landed there recently.

Thanks @chandavkl @CiaoBob, bookmarked. :slightly_smiling:

Ciao Bob for the Sam Woo branch you’re talking about, is it the one on

8526 Valley Blvd.
Rosemead, CA 91770




Some of the larger Cantonese restaurants have a separate section devoted solely to selling roast duck, roast pork, etc. Capital Seafood in Monterey Park comes to mind mainly because theirs is literally a few storefronts away from the restaurant.

Bleh, as I feared. I will be heading to iXLB next week, but the lack of any good Chinese in the Hollywood area is disappointing.

A Chinese/Korean is going by the name of “iXLB???”

Oy, oy, oy…

Actually I don’t know what iXLB’s ancestry is.

Thanks for the link.

General question: does XLB filling normally contain cabbage and scallion? And isn’t “Polo Bao” more pronounced “Bolo Bao?”

If I lived nearby, I’d definitely try it. But since I don’t, I think I’ll let others give it a go… :wink:

Well like anything Chinese that gets Romanized there are lots of variations. I think the most common variant might be bolou bao, but I have seen polo bun, though not that frequently, and which for some reason I associate with Boston.

In wSGV it is still prevalent and growing as others have noted.

In/around eSGV, however, there is less density of such places.

In OC (ex. Diamond Bar) the number of Chinese BBQ places (as a ratio of Chinese population) with all sort of hooved and winged creatures hanging from clothe-hangers have remained pretty constant in the past couple of decades.

Oh cool. Thanks ipse! I don’t get out there much, but just remembered hearing from friends about how some of the Sam Woos closed down and then realized I just didn’t see many of those places the last time I went. Good to know.

What’s your fav Cantonese / HK BBQ place? :slightly_smiling:

Sham Tseng on Garvey in Monterey Park, and the aforementioned Sam Woo on Valley in Alhambra, which, by the way, is the OG place for Cantonese BBQ.

I think the last time that Sam Woo cleaned their kitchen was probably during the last Bush administration. The “H” one.


I believe you. Was there Wednesday, almost did a about-face when I saw that flaming RED C. Took a chance and so far no ER visits…

Melrose may be a tough sell. I seem to recall Yujean Kang closing a place there.

C = Calling Courageous Chinese Customers