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Nov 22, 2010 11:28 PM

authentic Mongolian food in LA?

Where would you recommend to take a visiting Mongolian college student for some authentic Mongolian food and to meet fellow Mongolians? I'm not at all familiar with Mongolian food except the all-you-can-eat-BBQ type of places and I don't ever recall meeting anyone from Mongolia at those BBQ places. Any help would be much appreciated.

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  1. Mongolian BBQ was "invented" in Taiwan... Not exactly what a homesick student from Ulaanbaatar would be craving, although the humor factor would make it interesting.

    Mongolians have had Mongolian food all their lives. Instead, take the foreigners to Philippe's the Original or some other L.A. institution. I think they'll appreciate it more!

    But, if you must do Mongolian BBQ, then go to Mongols BBQ in Westwood - A greasy spoon, but decent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.

      Yeah, Mongolian BBQ isn't Mongolian. I've never been able to find any real Mongolian food in L.A. The closest I I ever heard of was supposedly, of all places, in the back of some divey pizza place in San Francisco. Apparently it is (was?) a meeting place for local Mongolians.

    2. Since Xinjiang borders onto Mongolia this post may be helpful in finding dishes that have commonality with the food this student is used to eating:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Servorg

        This is probably your best approach. Mongolian cuisine is, from what I know, largely based on meats, especially lamb, quick stews and dough based products like dumplings. Feng Mao Mutton Kebob in K-Town might also work.

      2. The only Mongolian people I know love hotpot... maybe take him to Hot Pot City or Xiao Fei Yang (uh, Little Sheep in English I think)? I don't know that he'll meet many Mongolians. There isn't exactly a centre of Mongolian culture in Southern California that I'm aware of.

        If he's just here for a little while, I agree with J.L. If he's been here long enough to get homesick, then go with the above suggestion. :)

        Little Sheep
        120 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

        Hot Pot City
        15606 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

        1 Reply
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          There's a small Mongolian community in the Koreatown area. There's a Mongolian school or center on Beverly or Third, and there was once a Mongolian restaurant close by. However it closed down before most of us Hounds made it out there, and there went L.A.'s Mongolian food.

        2. I say get some good Mexican or Italian food. The student has traveled thousands of mile, and Mongolian food may be the last thing he/she wants to eat. I'm sure there aren't many good Mexican or Italian places in Mongolia, so it'll probably be an exotic experience.

          1 Reply
          1. re: raytamsgv

            check out places for tacos of carne asada, cabeza, lengua. north african food like moun of tunis esp the couscous would be fun for the student. Pizzas will be fun. And i'd think that a nice communal plate at Messob or Meals by Genet of ethiopian food with teff would be fun.

            If they want to eat well, remember places like taylor's or the grill on the alley for steaks, chops - american grilled meats. And steak tartare might be interesting in a meta way.

            Meng Gu kao rou - is famous in beijing and there are OLD restaurants serving it - mongol influenced chinese food, and the beijing style hot pot -rinsed lamb (shuan y ang rou) is originally a mongol dish. BUT - sako's mediterranean with a good variety of kebabs and salads would be fun for everyone as well (sako's in the west valley).

            And last - the host should eat what the host likes and the guest will have an interesting and hopefully rewarding experience.
            Have at it.

          2. Thanks, folks. I've passed on the information to my friend who is hosting the student.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fdb

              The Mongolian restaurant referred to earlier was Mongolica. It was 2/3 bar and had no parking, and the food was so so. Sorry to say that outside of visiting my house, or one of my wife's friends in L.A., you will not find any source of really Mongolian food. There are people who will make dumplings to order I heard. Your friend will probably need to look on L.A. Mongols for that info. The Mongolian community in L.A. is small byt growing. San Francisco has a much larger community, and therefore has been able to support restaurants better. Now back to my quest to find mutton for Mongolian New Years...