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Nov 18, 2008 08:10 AM

Eating the food of a different country every day and I need your help

As a few of you know, I'm trying to eat the food of a different country every single day in a row ( It's now been 75 consecutive days and there are only so many left that I know I can find. So here's a list of the country's cuisines I'm having a really tough time finding. Now, it can be a restaurant or even a take out place. But mail order, canned foods and even cooking it myself don't count. Home cooked meals by real natives DO count however, if any of you are feeling especially kind.

I'll spare you some of the more obscure African and island nations, but here goes. Any help would be greatly appreciated:

Mongolia (actual Mongolian-- as opposed to hot pot or barbecue
)Saudi Arabia
Dominican Republic

Thanks so much!

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  1. I'm bumping this because I figure somone on here must have a suggestion for at least one of these countries and I really want noahbites to be able to keep this going as long as he can. Anyone?

    1. Scottish as an individual place would be tough but what about; The Olde Ship in Santa Ana or Fullerton.
      I have only been to the Santa Ana location and that was few years ago.

      A pint of Belhaven ( although it appears to have gone from the beer list as a draft ) , with the bridie and to make a sure food overload the sticky toffee pudding or rhubard crumble and custard to finish.

      If you could get them to make cock-a-leekie soup as the soup of the day then you would have been well fed.

      You would think that someone would be having a special on a St Andrews day meal Nov. 30th .

      I think the important think is to remember "Nae Salads"

      The bridie is remarkably like those available in Scotland down to the slightly soggy dough. I remember it being a lot of food but at least something.

      Tam O'Shanter may be able to piece together a Scots meal. If you could only make it to January and Burns night you would get Haggis, neaps and tatties.

      I am thinking Welsh may be the same problem.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stuartmm

        Well, the Scots side of me (as opposed to the Spanish/Jewish side) says: if you can't get something at the Tam 'O Shanter, then make do with whisky, and something fried.

        Failing that, drink an Irn-Bru, which I believe you can get at the Brit imports place in Santa Monica. (Just be careful not to spill it on anything white...)

        Iceland? Anybody in LA serve smoked puffin?

        . . . and the only distinctively Panamanian food I've ever heard mentioned was a local variation on the truly middle-American Italian-American hybrid casserole called "Johnny Marzetti"

      2. noah,

        I think part of the problem with finding restuarants that match the countries on your list is that many of them are quite similar, and do not have distinct national cuisines.

        For example, both Uruguan and Paraguan cuisines have parilladas as a typical dish. And, just talking about of my ass here, but I'd surmise that Finland and Iceland probably share many foods in common. Same with the Dominican and Panama -- probably both heavily influenced by Spanish flavors and dishes.

        Also as to Mongolian food, good luck. I'm pretty sure there's is no authentic Mongolian restuarant in SoCal. LIttle Sheep, but then again maybe not.

        Anyhow, good luck in your quest and I look forward to your next request.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          . . . nor based on the little info i find (e.g.: ) is it clear to me that you, or even Eddie Lin, would necesarily WANT to find authentic Mongolian. There's that "boodog" stuff, for instance. . .

          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

            I recall marmot boodog from a Globetrekker episode in Mongolia. While commonly hunted and eaten out in the steppes, I think the host said that many marmots (at least in Mongolia) were reported to carry bubonic plague - cooking them supposedly doesn't kill of the bacteria. So eating that version of boodog is like playing the Mongolian version of Russian Roulette in the steppes. I would think the goat version might taste awfully good after a long hard day horseback riding in the middle of no where with not a taqueria to be found for lightyears...

          2. re: ipsedixit

            Macedonian food is pretty much indistinguishable from Greek food. Saudi food is indistinguishable from any other Middle Eastern halal diet. In most cases, it's the spelling and/or alphabet that distinguishes one national food from the other, not the dish itself. On some of your quests, I suspect you're jousting with windmills. But good luck!

          3. It's not entirely clear that Al-Sanabel is Saudi, but this thread seems to indicate it is.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chowpatty

              Al-Sanabel isn't Saudi Arabian, it's Lebanese. The food of Saudi Arabia is almost exactly the same as that of Bahrain, the tiny island kingdom off its coast. Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Oman all share the those traditional dishes too. Sometimes the names vary but the dishes themselves are the same - eg Saudi national dish Al-Kabsa is the exact same thing as Bahraini/Qatari/Omani/Kuwaiti/UAE national dish machbous/majboos/maqboos.

              Finding some of the foods on the list may involve going to places Noah has already been to, which probably isn't the intention. For example, Ngoma Restaurant has an entire section of its menu devoted to West African dishes and even some Somalian dishes but Noah already ate there on Kenya Day. And I don't know if Jordan is still on the hard-to-find list but Sham (where Noah ate on Syria Day) serves Jordanian national dish mansaf as a menu special on Fridays. They serve Syrian mansaf as a special on Wednesdays.

              Good luck Noah! I absolutely adore the blog and it's made me fall in love with LA all over again.

            2. Thanks everybody. Yeah, obviously the country delineation makes it pretty difficult to differentiate between certain cuisines (a lot of Africa is a great example), but trying to choose styles and regions is almost impossible as well. Granted, in the countries themselves, there are usually some slight differences, but having that carry through all the way back here is a pretty tough order. It is amazing, though, how many small countries' cuisines do actually exist in L.A. It's been pretty darn eye opening so far.

              1 Reply
              1. re: noahbites

                I really like Saudi Arabian food and think it's distinct from "Middle Eastern" and Persian, but the only place I've ever had it is Bangkok (where Saudis go to holiday or naughty ones go to stay). I've never seen any of these other cuisines at a standalone restaurant anywhere in the world.