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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rate-A-Restaurant #172: Golden Deli Vietnamese

Restaurant: Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant

Location: 815 W Las Tunas Drive (San Gabriel)

Type of restaurant: Vietnamese

They stipulated: Test your luck trying to find parking in the cramped lot (we lucked out and found a spot on the street). You'll also likely be waiting for a table on the sidewalk at this strip mall; take advantage of it by checking out the nearby stores. Just make sure you're close to the door when they call your name.

We stipulated: We were car shopping in the Alhambra area, and realized we were close enough to keep driving a bit further for the mythical, cheap Banh Mi sandwiches of Golden Deli. Actually, Maria's been here before, so they weren't mythical at all to her. But she's been wanting to take me here forever. Now that our nearby K.P.'s is no more in Silver Lake, I needed a new home for Banh Mi.

What we ordered: For beverage, I got Soda Xi Muoi -- Salted Plum Soda ($1.60), while Maria ordered the Mang Cau Xiem -- Cheremoya ($1.50). For entree, we got the Bun Chao Tom/Bo Nuong/Cha Gio -- Shrimp Paste/Charbroiled Beef/Egg Roll with rice vermicelli ($6.25). We also got the Banh Mi Thit Nuong -- Banh Mi with charbroiled pork ($3)

High point: $3 for an excellent Banh Mi. Now I feel ridiculous for spending so much at K.P.'s -- although, I guess K.P.'s had Golden Deli beat for convenience. But man, that price for that sandwich is worth the drive.

Low point: The service is not friendly in the least... but yet, I didn't mind, it kinda added to the place.

Overall impression: Any place that offers up a homemade salted dried plum soda is OK in my book. You heard me right. Coming from Hawaii, I loves me some li hing mui -- there's something about the saltiness, tartness and sweetness all rolled into one that makes me a firm believer. Here, it mixed nicely with the soda water (and didn't contain that unnecessary food coloring).

Oh, and did I mention $3 Banh Mi?!

Chance we'll go back: OK, one more time: $3 Banh Mi! So yes, we will be back.

For a complete list of our more than 170 restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.

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