Roasted Pork Belly, Crispy Roast Duck, BBQ Pork - A Hong Kong BBQ Journey. [BONUS: Amazing Crackling Roasted Suckling Pig!] - Ruby BBQ, Ho Kee, Hop Woo, Sam Woo, New Duong Son BBQ, Lien Hoa BBQ, Noodle Boy, Monterey Palace [Thoughts + Pics]

This spot randomly turned up in a Facebook ad as a ‘restaurant near you’ (I live in Hollywood):

Regardless, I’m intrigued. Anyone been yet?

That duck looks pretty good. I think I might have to check it out later this month when I’m back home as its just down the highway from my house.


I have to be in Industry tomorrow, but it’s unlikely I’ll have time to pop over there. Tried to go to Ruby’s today and they’re closed for vacation through the 17th. Blarghh.

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I was going to Corner Beef Noodle House in El Monte last night, but noticed the Sunny Shine BBQ Restaurant two doors down has more patrons and decided to try it out. The waitress recommended that I order half a roasted duck. I was surprised that the duck skin was slightly crispier than the Ruby’s BBQ version. Overall, the duck is tasty and meaty.
Sunny Shine BBQ (Cash Only)
3948 N. Peck Road, #7-8, El Monte, CA 91732


We had cold Roast Pork Belly and super cold Modelo Beer sitting in our car in the parking lot of Ruby BBQ today. The hours say 10am-9pm, but I think that’s because there are only two columns on a generic Business Hours sign. :wink: Regulars probably know there’s only takeout of lunch leftovers between 3-5pm. No biggie. Just a slight detour on our way home from Whittier. I’m glad they didn’t microwave it. After we eat it fresh & hot w/some nice sautéed greens on the side it will probably go on my Best of 2020 list.


Oh that roast pork!


Even cold it was good. :yum:

@JLee Pearl River Delta is now serving Char Siu Pork Neck.

I might just make the drive to LA for this


I am pretty sure that I am going to love PRD just as much as Ruby BBQ and Ming Kee. So happy to see Cantonese/HK food tradition alive and well, with the uncertainty of HK, for me this place is necessary.

This style of food is my absolute favorite, even though I eat like a crunchy granola vegan for half the week


Have you guys been to Needle? If so, what did you all think?

It’s been on my radar but haven’t had a chance to make it out there. Perhaps this weekend…

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chasiu is no joke. probably the best one i’ve eaten in the city. and i’ve eaten a lot of chasiu. i’ve been going crazy trying to put Needle on since I know there’s a lot of love for HK food here and what Chef Ryan is doing over there in Silverlake is special

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Had the Macao pork chop bun which was fine, but not transcendent, and the QPR wasn’t there.

So I guess I’ll be doing PRD for lunch and Needle for dinner!!

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Or you can do consecutive bangs - PRD - Ricebox - Needle

I am finishing up here at Needle.

I went to Pearl River as well. I have a lot of rice to use next week for leftovers lol



Pearl River Deli is doing Roast Duck (Soon!)


Update 2 (To-Go):

Catching up on some Hong Kong BBQ explorations just before the pandemic hit and afterwards (To-Go).

Ho Kee Cafe (New Branch - Arcadia)

Ho Kee Cafe OG branch was a mixed experience for us last year, but with talks of a new branch opening in Arcadia, with a larger menu, we were curious how their offerings might turn out.

Seasonal Vegetables - Sprouting Cauliflower with Preserved Pork:

This was a nice surprise, seeing a Chinese restaurant serving Sprouting Cauliflower with Preserved Pork. This was tasty, the Sprouting Cauliflower having a good texture and density without getting too soft. The Preserved Pork added a nice fragrant meaty aroma to each bite as well.

Roast Duck (Half):

This was OK. It was similar to Ho Kee’s OG branch experience: Fresh-tasting Roast Duck meat, moist, tender, but flabby Duck skin. :frowning:

Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Duck Eggs:

Unfortunately, their Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Duck Eggs was a letdown: The Minced Pork was at least 50-70% Pork Fat(!). :sob: As in, unrendered chunks of Pork Fat, chewy, chunky and inedible. Avoid.

2nd Visit:

Pork with Preserved Vegetables:

Coincidentally, we had gotten to try this dish right before Chef Johnny Lee and Pearl River Deli debuted their Housemade version, so it was nice to have a recent frame of reference.

Ho Kee’s version of Pork with Preserved Vegetables was fine: The actual Mei Tsai (Preserved Vegetables) flavor had a nice deep almost savory intense flavor, but Pearl River Deli’s version was better. The Steamed Pork Belly here was a bit more tender (but still a bit too firm / meaty) compared to Pearl River Deli’s version, though.

Squid with Salt and Pepper:

Their Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper was decent. Not crisp enough, but an adequate fry.

Sauteed Pea Shoots with Garlic:

The Sauteed Pea Shoots with Garlic had a solid saute, just cooked through, nice Garlic notes in each bite.

Wonton Noodle Soup - Hong Kong Style:

With the demise of Noodle Boy (RIP), we don’t get out to the San Gabriel Valley enough to have found any real alternatives. Our SGV friends have all told us there is no replacement right now. :frowning:

Ho Kee’s Wonton Noodle Soup is no bueno. :frowning: Sam Woo’s average version is much better. The Wontons themselves taste overly briny (with a bad funky taste of unused Frozen Shrimp). The Noodles are decent. The Broth? Adequate. A far cry from Noodle Boy’s version.

Minced Beef with Raw Egg Porridge:

This was tasty. Good consistency in their Rice Porridge, the Minced Beef was tender and the overall flavor was balanced, not overly salty nor plain.

Ho Kee Cafe (Arcadia Branch)
558 Las Tunas Dr.
Arcadia, CA 91007
Tel: (626) 822-3399

Sunny Shine BBQ

Thanks to some FTC mentions about this place, we decided to also stop by Sunny Shine BBQ.

Roast Duck (Half):

Sunny Shine BBQ’s version of Hong Kong Roast Duck was fine. We thought it was slightly better than Ho Kee’s version, but like Ho Kee (and to be fair, every version in So Cal we’ve tried), it had soft, flabby Duck skin. :frowning:

The seasoning of the Roast Duck meat itself permeated to the bone and was nicely seasoned otherwise.

(Cash Only)

Sunny Shine BBQ
3948 Peck Rd., #7
El Monte, CA 91732
Tel: (626) 350-6838

Sam Woo BBQ (San Gabriel)

Watercress with Fish Ball Hot Pot:

Very good. I love Watercress and the inherent vegetal flavors were highlighted in this light Fish Broth with decent Fish Meatballs, a bit firmer than we would like. The Goji Berries, Ginger and Watercress were the highlights. :slight_smile:

House Special Pork with Preserved Vegetables:

Sam Woo BBQ’s version of Pork with Preserved Vegetables was downright bad. :frowning: Sitting on a bed of mainly Iceberg Lettuce(!), there was a paltry amount of actual Preserved Vegetables (maybe about 1 - 2 tablespoons) hidden underneath the Iceberg Lettuce. The flavor of the Preserved Vegetables tasted familiar, but average.

The Steamed Pork Belly was inedible: Super tough, stringy, and tasting like it was 2 or 3 day leftovers. :cry: We sent it back.

Sam Woo BBQ (San Gabriel)
937 E. Las Tunas Dr., Unit C
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 286-3118

Ruby BBQ (Revisit)

We still can’t get over the fact that the actual Chinese name of this place is a much cooler sounding “Nine Dragons BBQ” (according to our Chinese speaking friends), but we get the simpler sounding “Ruby BBQ” name in English. :sweat_smile:

In preparation to try Chef Johnny Lee’s version at Pearl River, we decided to stop by Ruby BBQ as well.

Pork with Preserved Vegetables:

A much more intense flavor from their Preserved Vegetables than either Ho Kee or Sam Woo. It’s incredible how these Sun-Dried Preserved Vegetables get so much flavor! The Steamed Pork Belly was unfortunately a touch too meaty, and not cooked down enough.

After trying out a few SGV places, we’d have to say Pearl River Deli’s version was our favorite.

Macau Special Pork:

One look at the Macau Special Pork (Roasted Pork Belly) and you can tell the difference. Crispy, crunchy Roasted Pork Skin, fresh-tasting, tender slivers of Pork underneath with lean and fat layers. Incredible! :heart:

Another Visit:

BBQ Duck (Half):

While all L.A. / O.C. versions of Hong Kong Roasted Duck lack any crispy skin, Ruby BBQ’s Roast Duck might be the best of the bunch. There’s good meaty tenderness, fresh-tasting Roast Duck meat, nice Duck Jus and enjoyable over Steamed Rice. A bit of the Plum Sauce adds pleasant sweetness to balance out the savory Duck flavors.

The Duck Skin might be soft, there’ve been times where there was just a hint of possible crispness, but still soft, but the color, lacquer are gorgeous, and the rest of the Duck meat itself and flavor is good. :slight_smile:

Macau Special Pork:

As ridiculous as always: Crispy-crunchy Roast Pork Skin, it is the best in L.A. that we’ve tried, and the standard to beat, @Chef @JLee. :slight_smile: We can’t wait to see Pearl River Deli come out with their versions of Roast Duck and Roasted Pork Belly. If they can get any version of Roast Duck with crispy skin, they will instantly be tops in So Cal. :slight_smile: If they can match or exceed Ruby BBQ’s Macau Special Pork (Belly), that’ll be legendary.

In the meantime, Ruby BBQ continues to excel at their Roast Pork Belly offering, an incredible, satisfying bite of pure porky bliss, and thankfully continues to survive during this pandemic for Takeout Only.

(Cash Only)

Ruby BBQ
9561 Garvey Ave., Suite 1 & 2
South El Monte, CA 91733
Tel: (626) 279-6854


9 Dragons refers to Kowloon, a HK neighborhood.

Just another Chinese restaurant where the English name is completely different from Chinese name.

I can probably count on one hand where the names match up in SGV lol

Thanks for the update. Noodle Boy’s broth and wontons are hard to beat. Good to hear about Ruby BBQ still killing it with crispy roast pork