The Unvegan

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Hop Li

It's always fun removing vegetables with chopsticks.
It’s fun removing vegetables with chopsticks.

When the world shuts down on Christmas, there is only one kind of restaurant that can be counted on to stay open, the Chinese kind. With this in mind, I ventured out to West LA, to a restaurant called Hop Li. The name sounded good, since I couldn’t think of any way to make fun of it. After a decent wait (a good sign!), I was seated and leafed through the vast menu, finally settling on the Mango Chicken.

In a momentary unvegan brain fart, I completely forgot to ask the waiter to hold the vegetables. Oh dear! I couldn’t even pretend I didn’t know it came with vegetables because there is a clear picture of the dish on the menu, vegetables and all. Until my meal came, I hoped and I prayed that they chef would somehow forget to sprinkle the dish with veggies. My hopes and prayers were in vain, because sure enough, when my meal came, it was ominously adorned with asparagus and carrots.

Armed with chopsticks, I began the painstaking process of removing the vegetables, one by one. Typically I’m that guy who does his best not to use a fork in a Chinese restaurant because it just doesn’t feel right, but in a flash of serendipity I sacrificed my chopstick morals to pick out the veggies with a fork. I was soon rewarded with deliciously stir-fried mango chicken. My morals were shattered, but my stomach was all the better for it.

Good Chinese food is always hard to come by, so I was excited to find a great meal with Hop Li. The price is a little steep, but it’s worth it to guarantee a good Chinese meal. Only next time I’ll be sure to consider the vegetable consequences while I’m ordering.