scallion pancakes -- the best?
Glenmore Wong's post about the scallion pancakes at Dumpling Master got me thinking about who has the best...
and I have to disagree. Their's is good--thin, chewy, with the right hint of scallions...but too oily and not crisp enough for my tastes. My vote goes to Mandarin Deli (might have changed its named to Madarin Noodle House?). Thicker and larger in size, peppered generously with scallions, and browned edges for added crunchiness...what a treat!
Yes, I agree, Mandarin Deli has a fine version but a little thick and doughy for me. I haven't been back to Dumpling Master in awhile, but I prefer their thinner pancake. I remember when Mandarin Deli first added this item to their menu with just a simple paper sign taped over the window to the kitchen. I am not a big fan of cucumbers but their garlic cukes are addictive! My wife really like the Tofu salad also. We have been going there for over 15 years and we still don't get what's up with the surly waitress. Off on another tangent, my first Scallion pancake was at a restaurant that has since moved to Garvey in Monterey Park. The pancake was the thin version and delicious but the cook/recipe has since changed and no longer worth ordering. I know the restaurant only as "Heavy Noodling", 626-307-9583. Their logo is a cook, peeling noodles off of a bread loaf sized brick of dough into boiling water. These are the most unusual noodles, thin on the edges, thick in the middle, sorta like a chinese spatzle noodle. Have it in soups or best in a pork stir-fry. The kitchen is uneven and unpredictable, sometimes great, sometimes not so great. Hot and Sour soup is pretty good. When they have it and if it is prepared with a light hand, the yellow chives, tofu and pork(?) stir fry is super.
The best scallion pancakes I've had are/were served at a bar in Koreatown right near the old Ambassador Hotel called the Prince. If the waitress was feeling generous, she'd bring out a steaming plate of scallion pancakes (and occasionally other Korean snacks) with your drinks. If you asked for them, you were less likely to get them. The hospitality there is less than consistant. Now, maybe it was the alcohol talking, but I don't think so. Those pancakes are my number one favorites.
Yeah, the Mandarin Deli's are pretty damn fine.
That same kind of multi-layered eggy-stretchy-melty-on-the-inside gloriously crunchy/fried on the outside flavor I found in an Israeli dish, called malewach. Imagine a scallion pancake, without scallions, inflated to, oh, say, personal pan pizza sized, covered with various different toppings. No really - everybody I've taken there has said the same thing - "This is just like a scallion pancake... and... mmmm..." I took a major scallion pancake freak there and he... freaked.
The place I found this stuff at is called Magic Carpet, a kosher Yemenite place on Pico, near La Cienega. South side of the street. I've had a few different toppings. The mushroom topping was just too much heavy fat. The Turkish? Mediterranian? topping - which was some kind of sour red paste substance - was great. The tang cut through the deep fried glory of the Malewach.
re: Thi Nguyen
Yeah, I've had them at that restaurant on Pico also and they are yummy. You know what, now that I think about it they are much like my Grandma Emma's potato pancakes were like when she used to make them for me in the projects in upper Manhattan in the late 50's. Thick, crunchy and crisp on the outside and incredibly oniony and chewy almost cheesy chewy on the inside. Grandma Emma was a 1st generation Jew from Kiev so I don't know how they're connected but there's a link somewhere there.