Sam Woo has been called the best Chinese in O.C. One indication is that the clientele is about 95 percent Chinese. Another is that the service can be rude. Some people say if the service isn’t rude it’s not real Chinese. There are several Sam Woo restaurants in So.Cal. I think there’s one in San Francisco too.
There are three restaurants there. One is take out only. One is called Sam Woo Seafood Restaurant and looks a little expensive. I’ve never been in there. The 3rd is between the first 2 and that’s were I eat. It’s usually cheap too.
Some things to try:
- Walnut Glazed Shrimp.
- BBQ Pork (their specialty)
- Beef chow fun with black bean sauce
- Duck, Chicken, Pork with Leek
- 1/2 Crispy Chicken
- Tri Shredded Fried Rice
- Almond Jello (a dessert)
- Spicy salty shrimp. (note: this involves eating entire shrimp. head, tail, legs and all)
- Beef chowmein with soft noodles.
- Deep Fried Talapia (note: you’ll get a deep fried whole fish and you have to pull the meat off)
Avoid the evil Sam Woo at Metro Point. They tried to open an upscale yuppie version of Sam Woo. It doesn’t work. Instead of getting real Chinese food you’ll be getting Califoniaized Chinese food. If that’s what you wanted you should have gone to P.F. Chang’s. Yuck!
Directions: From the 405 get off at Culver and turn left (north). About 7 lights you’ll come to Irvine Center Drive. Go past Irvine Center Drive and turn left into the shopping center. Sam Woo is behind the Cathay Bank, next to the Ranch 99 Market (which you should check out after dinner) Ranch 99 is a chain of large Chinese supermarkets.