Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Fit for a Khan

Mongol and I just got back from a weekend with the family in Oakland, CA. Oakland is home to as thriving a Mongolian community as one can imagine in the States. I think that someone said there were about 200 Mongolians within a city block or so. Evidently, that's enough to support a Mongolian restaurant. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to visit it. This, however, won't hinder me from offering a critique--or at least offering a quick critique offered by my cousin who lives down the street from it.

A quick note about my cousin: he was the chef to the Mongolian President a few years ago (forgive me if I can't recall which one). So he knows his grub.

Anyway, says my cousin, it all depends on which day you go. Some days the buuz and khushuur are great. Those are the days where the professional Mongolian cook works there. Then some days the food is less than impressive. Those are the days when the folks from around the neighborhood roam the kitchen instead of the professional.

There you have it--my cousin's complete critique. My $0.02: Given the simplicity of Mongolian food, I can't imagine that there's that great of a chasm between great and less than great food. Mongol will no doubt disagree strenuously on this point. I will say, however, that horse buuz are very tasty, although they might send you "to the Prime Minister" (a good friend of that vengeful fellow Montezuma) for a few days--they did me, anyway.

Regardless, you can try the place out for yourself if you find yourself in Oakland anytime soon. It's on 14th Street Between Oak and Madison directly across from the Oakland Public Library. It has no name that I'm aware of, and there's no signage outside to distinguish it from any of the surrounding shops, so just pop your head into all the doors until you find one that leads into a restaurant. Who knows, you might be the first round-eye they've served.

(Oh, and if you have a bit of extra time on your hands and you're in the mood for a little dancing, feel free to visit the Mongolian night club just next door.)


Anonymous troll said...

Thanks for the pointer to the Mongolian restraurant - I live in the Bay Area.

So... the "Mongonlian Barbecue" are not really Mongolian? :-) You know the one with a big table of grill...

Look forward reading more Mongolian news here.

6/21/2005 2:15 PM  
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10/11/2005 3:46 AM  
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