Monday, August 2, 2010

Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant- San Gabriel

Golden Deli Exterior

If you live in the San Gabriel Valley and have visited quite a number of Vietnamese restaurants, then chances are, you know Golden Deli. Golden Deli is quite famous and regarded in terms of Vietnamese restaurants in the SGV, and during the weekends you will typically find a line outside their door.

Menu

Golden Deli is our usual Vietnamese restaurant to dine at. Even so, our visits are rare, since the lines usually get very busy. So, I have combined a visit from this year and last year into one post! And for those who thought I had no backlog...I can write about 50 posts still, many with my older camera and some with my new camera. So today's post is a combination of photos from both cameras. Try to see the difference now. It's actually quite obvious, since the spot we got for both visits had different lighting and table surfaces.

Condiments

As usual in most Vietnamese restaurants, each table had a large number of utensils and condiments to choose from.

Rice Noodle with Pork and Fish Sauce

If you haven't guessed already, this was the first visit. One of the items we ordered was the Bun Thit Nuong (4.75 USD) which basically is charbroiled pork with rice vermicelli. This definitely was correct with the description. There was a mound of bouncy, chewy, and cool rice vermicelli and multiple pieces of warm and flavorful pork coupled with plenty of herbage. The nuoc mam cham, or sweetened fish sauce, provided more flavor. All in all, it was a light but flavorful dish with an interesting temperature contrast between the noodles and herbs versus the hot charbroiled pork.

Charbroiled Pork Rice

We ordered the charbroiled pork yet again, but this time it was not with rice vermicelli. Instead it came as Com Thit Nuong (4.75 USD), basically swapping out the rice vermicelli with rice and cucumber. Like the Bun Thit Nuong it came with the sweetened fish sauce, and was very similar in taste other than the lack of herbs and broken rice instead of rice vermicelli.

Pho with Beef Sony Version

In addition to the Com Thit Nuong and the Bun Thit Nuong we also ordered a bowl of Pho Tai (4.75 USD). With the chewy noodles, flavorful beef broth with not too much MSG, and nice herbage, it was definitely enjoyable. The raw beef that was added was plentiful and was also more flavorful compared to ordering well cooked beef.

Special Pho

Lastly, we also ordered a bowl of Pho Bac Diet (5.25 USD), which was served in a larger bowl along with the rice noodles with not only raw beef slices, but also well cooked beef, tripe, and tendons. A larger serving with this many additional items and larger amounts everything inside the bowl versus a normal bowl? Definite plus.

Basil and Bean Sprouts

And of course, with the pho we ordered there came a plate of herbs, limes, mung bean sprouts, and peppers. Add as much or as little as you wish. I like to first add the bean sprouts, then enjoy some of the pho, and lastly then add herbs, lime, and peppers.

Rice Plate with Steamed Egg and Pork

This summer, we went back to Golden Deli and ordered a few different items. My dining companion ordered the Com Cha Thit Nuong (4.95 USD) to compare to the version we had at Pho Vietnam in Las Vegas, but this time without the fatty shredded pork skin. Verdict? Golden Deli's version was better in the egg custard definitely. As for the pork and rice, both places were quite similar.

Pho with Beef

I ordered another bowl of pho this time, but this time it was the Pho Tai Gan (4.75 USD), or beef tendon and rare cooked beef in rice noodle soup. Just like the previous visit, the pho was very enjoyable and delicious.

Chicken Curry

And thanks to my curiosity of looking at Wandering Chopsticks Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) , we also ordered the Banh Mi Cari Ga (5.25 USD) or Chicken Curry with French Bread. Definitely, it was something special, especially with the curry sauce and the french bread. The french bread was so soft and light on the inside, and the outside crackled easily and was super thin. Within seconds it was finished!

As for the curry sauce, it was very aromatic with the coconut milk providing richness. Lemongrass was more dominant versus the rest of the curry spices in this case. As for the chicken, it was simply boiled and placed in the curry sauce to cook. It was tender but nothing special. The potatoes on the other hand were creamy with all the flavors of the curry soaked in.

All in all, Golden Deli offers affordable prices and good Vietnamese food. Until we try Vietnam Restaurant as recommended by Wandering Chopsticks and some other Vietnamese restaurants, Golden Deli will remain our go to place for Vietnamese food as it has been for 10+ years.

Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant
815 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626)-308-0803

Golden Deli on Urbanspoon

Golden Deli in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

5 comments:

Protocol Snow said...

I went to Golden Deli for the first time last month. Very tasty! I even ordered for take-out the second time so I could avoid the lines, and the food still tasted great at home.

elmomonster said...

Isn't this the same place J. Gold lauds for its cha gio (deep fried spring rolls?)

EatTravelEat said...

Protocol Snow,
Good to hear! I'm too far away from this place so I just do dine in. :)

Elmomonster,
Sounds like it! According to other food blogs, that is.

SinoSoul said...

I've given up on Golden Deli after 2 attempts in 3 years. Always a line, always smelling a lil dirty, much like the over-rated Pho Pasteur. After J Gold's review, this place blew up and I believe it was never the same.

Vietnam Restaurant (down the street, not across the street) offers cleaner, friendlier, tastier fare. GD's pho is so subpar compared to the products of S. El Monte joints, so now I drive further.

EatTravelEat said...

SinoSoul,
Agree about Pho Pasteur. Golden Deli's pretty good though. Didn't Golden Deli have a line since a very long time ago? That's what I know of anyway.

I've been to Vietnam Restaurant before and yes, there is less of a line! Food is pretty good there too...just seems like my dining companions are more used to Golden deli.

What S. El Monte joints do you like? In the case for me, I'd be driving less. :)