This is a place I find myself having the occasional meal, since it's A) close to home and B) air-conditioned. A meal at the food court here means one of several possible choices:
1) the Mongolian BBQ place. This is the mall favorite, and gosh-darn it, it IS good for mall food. It doesn't have the ingredient variety or the sauce options of Big Wok in Torrance, but having traveled to places where the mall food court consisted of a Wendy's, a Chick Fil-A and a Sbarro, it is like a godsend. I think the reason for its success, though, isn't so much the food but the theater. Not only do you get to witness your own food being propelled around the Wheel of Fire by a guy with two wooden sticks that were last washed during the Mongol Empire, you get to see what everybody else eats. Quantity is the order of the day. Although the provided bowl appears to be of fixed dimensions, I've seen acts of food compaction that bordered on nuclear fusion. Yesterday, the large lady ahead of me—clearly a pro—stuffed her bowl so full that the cook was unable to close the styrofoam clamshell on her dinner. I have to laugh because the lines here used to stretch around the mall; then one day they put up a sign saying "$1.50 charge for extra noodle" and their business dropped in half. I expect, though, their profits did not.
2) Kaboby. Decent kebabs and hit-or-miss salad plates. Baba Ganoush is surprisingly decent. The entertainment here, though, is watching the vendor tend this stall and the one next door: Mexican Dan's. Here is the man whose diplomatic power defies explanation: one who COULD create the border-blurring spectacle of a shawarma taco, even if good sense prevails and he chooses not to. I wonder what he eats at home.
3) The Cajun place. A few 'Hounds have chimed in on it, and it's not bad, but pretty unexciting. Bourbon chicken bores, but the spicy version works. Sides are pretty much Boston Market. It's ok, but I wish they'd bring Popeye's back.
4) The Teriyaki place. Inexplicably long lines for teriyaki chicken cooked on a griddle, not a hibachi, in standard-issue bottled sauce, with rice and underseasoned vegetables.
Sadly, two vendors—the "grill" place I never tried and the wraps place—have folded, and replacements don't look soon in coming. Anybody have an idea who and when?
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