- Barry Strugatz
This weekend I was driving on Rt. 303 in Rockland County and saw 2 Mongolian restaurants. Can anyone tell me about this cuisine. I have noticed some Mongolian places driving around LA (Jonathan Gold can you enlighten me?).
Also on the same road a saw an interesting looking Filipino (sp?) place.
Unfortunately the place I had lunch in was bad.
Don't get your hopes up. They are unlikely to serve
kumiss (fermented mare's milk -- some say it is
similar to Bailey's irish Cream!).
There are even some 'Mongolian' places in the city,
where they are usually attached to salad bars, and are
sort of stir-fry or griddle bars. You get an
assortment of meats , veggies and condiments, and give
them to a cook to stir/griddle fry for you. The
places I have seen charge by weight, but there may be
fixed-price or all-you-can-eat places as well.
These places probably don't have much to do with
Mongolian food, whatever that is, but are distant
descendents of Mongolian barbeque, a Korean like cook
at the table dish from Northern China.
Call me a snob, but it sounds very suburban to me.
Restaurants advertising ``Mongolian''
food are indeed more than apt to serve
``Mongolian BBQ,'' which bears about as much
relation to actual Mongolian cooking as Belgian
waffles do to the breakfast spots of Bruges.
There are a few restaurants in L.A. serving
some Mongolian dishes--not the fermented mare's
milk--but they tend to call themselves ``northern''
Chinese or Islamic Chinese. Some of the Islamic
dishes, the lamb warm pots, the griddle-baked
scallion bread, the pita-like sandwiches of
marinated beef, are extraordinary; some of the
others, like the dried lamb compressed into
loaves and deep-fried, is ... er ... authentic.
re: Barry Strugatz
The best of several Islamic Chinese places
(undoubtedly incorporating some Mongolian
specialties), is Tung Lai Shun, in the
Chinese megamall at 145 W. Valley in the
eastern suburb San Gabriel.
Until it moved here a couple of years ago,
the restaurant was for 100 years one of the
most popular places in Beijing, and while its
cosmopolitan and quite wonderful versions
of Mongolian lamb, braised lamb with garlic,
chunky lamb dumplings and lamb warm pot with
cabbage may resemble a Beijing guy's fantasy
of the food more than it does the stuff itself.
Another restaurant, recently closed, used to
serve weird, gamy jerky-like things that did
seem to resemble stuff that Chinese nomads
might reasonably be expected to pack for lunch
on the steppes, and when I brought some of it
to a colleague who specialized in the history
of medieval Central Asian food, he took one bite,
spat it into a wastebasket, and said,