Hunan Mao (Los Angeles, July/August 2014)

hunanmaoWhen we got to Los Angeles last summer Hunan Mao was all the rage. On account of my aforementioned hype-phobia we skipped it and on Sku‘s recommendation got our Hunan fix at Hunan Style instead. And that was a very good meal. This year we decided to give Hunan Mao a go—after all how often do you get to eat at a restaurant named for a dictator whose policies killed tens of millions of people by starvation?

It’s a large, bright restaurant—and while it didn’t fill up (we were there for lunch on a Friday) they seemed to be doing steady business a year after all the hype. We were joined again by the same set of food forum friends who ate with us at Hunan Style, and had a good time eating and reminiscing about the days when food forum politics took up too much space in our lives, and getting some scuttlebutt from one member of the party who works in the food industry in LA.

What we ate (we stuck almost entirely to the “Chef Recommended” section of the menu)—click on an image to launch a slideshow of larger images with complete captions:


A very good meal on the whole. However, I think I slightly preferred our lunch at Hunan Style last year—though, of course, we ordered very differently. While I think the fish head might have been better here, I think I liked most of the other things at Hunan Style a bit better. The fault is partly ours/mine for inadvertently ordering three things—the mutton, pig skin and smoked ham—that were fairly similar in style. It must be said that though they didn’t guide our order the waitstaff here are far more proficient in English than our waitress at Hunan Style was—so if that’s a consideration that might be a tiebreaker.

All of this food—which generated a ton of leftovers—came to about $100 with tax and tip for four people.

3 thoughts on “Hunan Mao (Los Angeles, July/August 2014)

  1. I agree with almost all of your comments, except I think the problem with the pork belly was undercooking rather than overcooking. Or possibly cooking without enough liquid, not allowing for tenderization to occur.

    I furthermore agree that your opinions are indeed annoying. Ha!


    • I will take your diagnosis of the cooking problem with the pork belly over mine.

      Maybe next year we can eat something other than Hunan together.


  2. The mutton was my favorite dish, strangely. No gaminess at all, the mutton having been sliced thin and stir fried with what appeared and tasted to be pea shoots or other related springtime treat. (We are in August) I fell in love with the rich meat against the sprightly green. I steadily kept eating that while ignoring the admittedly good pork skin dish.

    The steamed carp was delicious. I am glad I was able to scarf up half of the leftovers.

    As someone who willingly chose a compliance job that requires constant study of mind-numbing regulations, it was such a nice change to gossip about an extremely annoying know-it-all who is falling on hard times. Hah! Then I sort of felt bad for this person’s hardship. Then I thought about what this person’s children and family might be going through. This is when I realized I must be getting old.

    Here’s to more adventures…


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