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Restaurants & Bars 2

Golden Triangle Revisited (Long)

Local | Jun 3, 200305:25 PM

Eight of us ate Burmese at the Golden Triangle last Saturday night. Having not been in Whittier for at least two decades, I was pleasantly surprised with the Uptown buzz. Our previous group outing for Burmese food was to Yoma's. Saturday's Golden Triangle experience was higher on my personal nirvana scale - it's a keeper.

After opening our BYOB Gewurztraminer ($5 corkage), we started with vegetable Filafil (Burmese sp.?) - these were made of yellow peas, chickpeas, cilantro; two types of stuffed Paratha - one chicken, the other with mushrooms, carrots and other minced vegetables; and, Samusas stuffed with a butternut-like squash. Marvelous, esp. with the cucumber relish, and a tamarind dipping sauce that we were swabbing up with anything available-made for fingerlickin. The stuffed paratha are not listed on the menu, but the host seemed willing to stuff them with almost anything we suggested.

Next up was Tealeaf Salad, and the much-coveted (by me) Ginger Salad. The first was fermented tea leaves, mixed with fried peanuts, garlic, sesame seeds... slightly astringent, bitter, and earthy with a hint o' overcooked artichoke heart flavor. Deemed an acquired taste by some, I liked it and it played well with our double-order of the Ginger Salad. The ginger salad is incredible- I can't say enough about how much I like this stuff. Our only mistake was not ordering more. The textures of crunchy yellow peas, peanuts, red ginger, lime, dried shrimp...it is just too too too too good. The Gewurtz matched it perfectly- I could have dined solely on that and been happy.

Moved on to Mohinga (fish, onions in broth, served with rice noodles, hardboiled egg, condiments). None of us could identify the supposed catfish lurking in the depths of the hotpot. It was likened to a Burmese form of comfort food. Satisfying, but not standout, when compared to the Red Curry with Shrimp, vegetarian Green Curry (zikes, another item we should have ordered more of - thanks to CH Lisa Bee for her recommendations) and a yellow Chicken Curry (for some reason, overlooked and untasted by the west end of the table). Also a non-descript, but likeable vegetable fried rice, for those who eat rice. I, instead, used more of the incredible ginger salad as a rice-substitute. We ordered the curries at a heat index rating of 8 (out of 10). My sinuses were clear the rest of the evening but not under assault.

We closed out with Mangoes and Sticky rice (didn't try it, but was the popular favorite), Durian Icecream (for the uninitiated, it's stinky, pungent and, to me, should be avoided like the plague) and a marvelously sweet Semolina and Raisin "cake" - sliced thin, it has a moist, soft,crumbly texture and mildly nutty taste...wonderful way to temper any leftover curry heat along with both Jasmine and green tea.

Good time had by all, the bill was $16 each including tax/license/dealer prep. We closed down the place at 10:15 and wandered outside to hear a band abusing Van Morrison's Moondance at the neighboring bar. The Hot-rods lined up at the curb were good eye candy. I may drive out there next weekend just to get a takeout of the ginger salad; it's definitely worth the trip.

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