BBQ Unlimited #2 is the Chinese Roast Pig Answer to My Prayers


The very first post on Midtown Lunch: Los Angeles was khao soi (very fitting if you ask me) but do you know what the very first Midtown Lunch of all time was?  The one that kicked off this under $10 fat face stuffing nonsense almost 6 years ago in NYC?  It was Chinese food.  And not just any Chinese food, but possibly one of the most perfect Chinese lunch spots of all time.  The place was called Hing Won, and it featured a groundbreaking to me at the time two line system.  The left line was filled with mostly white people in suits, selecting Panda Express style orange chicken and egg rolls using the time tested method of menu ordering known as the finger point.  The second line was mostly Asian people, ordering from a bilingual menu of Chinatown style roasted meats, soups and noodle dishes featuring stuff like sichuan pickles and bitter melon.  Nothing over $7 (at the time), everything delicious.  And when they added Roast Pig over rice to the menu, it might have been the best day of my lunching life.  (And yes, there is a difference between char siu roast pork and roast pig.)

Head into Chinatown or the SGV and these places might be everywhere.  But for an eater trying to keep my lunches centralized, I would gladly cut off my Chinese food pointing finger for a Mid City equivalent to Hing Won.  Beef rolls from 101 Noodle are nice.  And I’ve had a few decent meals at Hop Woo.  But where’s the roast pig over rice?  Hell, I’d even settle for a decent roast pork over rice.  So when I saw Eater’s “Best Chinese Food Outside of the SGV” post last month I got super excited. Could the answer to my prayers be contained within?   I was a little concerned that Hu’s Szechuan made the list (the place is down the street from my house and kind of terrible), but the description of BBQ Unlimited #2 on Melrose in East Hollywood sealed the deal:

“A picture perfect hole-in-the-wall [with] steam baos for less than a $1, Cantonese style noodle soups, and cheap char siu pork that’s actually roasted.”

I’m there.


Are we really in Hollywood right now? And that’s not just roast duck and roast pork hanging in that window… there’s roast pig too!  In fact, you can get all three over rice with steamed vegetables for just $8.  Do I even need to look at the rest of the menu?


Like a carton of Neapolitan ice cream, made out of roasted meat. Duck. Roast Pig. Roast Pork. Is it not the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? There were perfectly sweet slices of delicious char sui, as well as tender pieces of roast pig topped with the most perfectly crisp layer of cracklin’. There were also fatty and tough pieces of pork as well, but there was enough of the good stuff to make it completely worth it. As delicious as the duck looks, the skin was not crispy at all and the meat on a lot of the pieces was pretty fatty and rubbery… but that’s to be expected at cheap Cantonese roast meat places like this. Next time I’ll probably go with the pork/pig combo.

There’s plenty more on the menu to explore, and BBQ Unlimited #2 has done you the favor of posting photos of some of their most popular dishes on the wall just as you enter. And we’re not talking printed out glamour shots of plastic looking food that never ends up looking the same when they bring them out of the kitchen. We’re talking plain old regular photos, like they were developed at CVS- and the real stuff looks pretty damn delicious. Although none of them make we want to go back to BBQ Unlimited as much as the photo above.

THE + (What somebody who loves this place would say)

  • Cantonese roast meats without going to Chinatown or the SGV?  I’m in.
  • God I love roast pig, with the little bits of cracklin’.
  • Three different kinds of meat over rice for $8 is a great deal.
  • Look at all that food!

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Melrose and the 101?  This isn’t the Westside.  If you’re that far east, you might as well just go down to Chinatown or head to the SGV!
  • The meats are all super cheap… aka super fatty, and not of good quality.
  • Some of the pieces of roasted pig could have been a bit less chewy.
  • Way too greasy for me.

BBQ Unlimited #2, 4808 Melrose Avenue. 323-669-1180


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