Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grilling on the Steppes

Like the rest of life, there are many misnomers associated with the culinary world. For example, head cheese is not a queso in the slightest and sweet breads are most certainly not a flaky pastry. Perhaps one of the greatest offenders of comida misrepresentation is the concept of Mongolian BBQ, which is neither from Mongolia (it was created in Taiwan in the 70's) or a BBQ (much closer to a stir fry). This is not to say a false label is a bad thing, in fact who doesn't love ambitiously loading up their bowl trying hard not to make the inevitable mess on the way over to the iron griddle? Today, K and I (along with baby Z) took a stroll up to Gobi on Sunset Blvd. for a taste of good old fashioned yurt cooking.
 The process starts (like all things delicioso) with meat: semi frozen thin slices of all natural pollo, lamb, carne, and pork. 
Next come the fresh veggies: locally sourced produce with standouts like spinach, jalapenos, and butternut squash. Mash it down and move over to the canned veggie (baby corn, water chestnuts, etc.) and sauce bar. Like most Mongol Q spots Gobi has recommended sauce mixtures that steer the creator towards a designated flavor. I tend to disregard this advice and just go at it helter skelter: smoked oyster sauce, lemongrass, garlic oil, spicy sauce, and lemon juice. Last but not least comes the noodle mound. Heap up as much as you can and then it's off to the races.
Just hand it all off to the griddle tender and listen to the sizzle.
 I know this seems like a play by play of Mongol Q as a whole but with results like this I didn't want to leave any detail up to the imagination.
The steamy platters are then taken back to the dining table and served with warm sesame rolls. Gobi also maintains an impressive cerveza selection which can pair off nicely to any BBQ combination. Ah, all so very satisfying and remember if it doesn't taste good you only have yourself to blame. So pack up camp tonight and head out to the wide grasslands to pay a visit to your local Mongolian BBQ (or should I say Taiwanese Griddle Fry).