>> [CLOSED] Golden Mongolian Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles

Tuesday 7 April 2020

[CLOSED] Golden Mongolian Restaurant

๐Ÿ“ 3012 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake, Central Los Angeles

EDITOR'S NOTE: This location has permanently closed. The space has re-opened as another Mongolian restaurant with different ownership called Arag Mongolian Cuisine. An updated version of this article (16 January 2024) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
If you have ever found yourself traveling through Mongolia, by train, bus, or even inside your own car, your most vivid memories probably all have the lingering scents of lamb dusted over them. The animal is a part of almost every meal, and is in various stages of being cleaned and cooked wherever you go. Opening the door of Golden Mongolian Restaurant is a pathway straight back to the country, starting with the aroma of lamb that hits your nose with that first step inside.

Your chance to travel (back) to Mongolia is on Wilshire Blvd. a few blocks east of Koreatown and right on the border with Westlake, a tangle of construction sites and Southwestern Law School buildings. By the time you find parking, the area will seem very familiar.

On the walls of Golden Mongolian are portraits of horses and nomadic life, as well as advertisements from a law firm attempting humor with the tagline "Fierce as Genghis Khan" on their poster. The Mongolians at about half of the tables are not worried about this though, they are sipping bowls of soup and slurping stir fried noodle dishes at one of the only real Mongolian restaurants in the entire country.

Before your orders come, a complimentary egg drop soup and crunchy fried dough noodles will arrive at the table for each customer. While probably meant to be eaten separately, the combination of these two seemed to be a fantastic match, especially when some drops of the spicy and sour sauce from the table are added.

One dish that is a true mashup of Mongolian culture is tsuivan ($11.50, above), a stir-fried mound of handmade noodles. The texture is extra hard as they are cooked al dente and the chewiness contrasts well with the crunchy fresh vegetables. This is accomplished during cooking by using as little water as possible with the wheat flour.

Mongolian kitchens are not places that go through a ton of spices while cooking, so do not expect the flavors to overwhelm you. Instead, that sauce and another bottle of soy sauce are waiting on each table for those that want more kick.

A dish that should probably be a part of any meal here is also listed first on the menu. The traditional lamb soup with dumplings ($12.50, above) arrives with about eight of the dumplings (beef is also available) floating in a cloudy rich broth. Shaved pieces of lamb mostly sink to the bottom and should be scooped up by the spoonful. Recommended.

As lunch crowds from the area fill the place to capacity each weekday and pickup orders seem to be neverending, returning through the wood latticed windows and back onto the street in Los Angeles can bring back another sensual memory from Mongolia: an air thick with pollutants. In towns the vistas can be blocked by the aftermath of coal being burned for cooking and heating, well-simulated by all the vehicles in LA.


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