Golden Deli: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
Why is there still a line outside Golden Deli when very, very good restaurants in the same strip mall are quiet as tombs? How has it lasted nearly 25 years in a neighborhood where some of the restaurant spaces turn over twice a year? Because Golden Deli has the best cha gio — fried Vietnamese spring rolls — in the observable universe, as its many Caltech regulars may tell you, and its fans will do anything for a crack at the burnished, bubbly, deep-fried cylinders. Golden Deli may be as iconic as the San Gabriel Mission at this point, a noodle shop whose imitators have spawned imitators, a mini-mall citadel of bánh hòi, bun thit and pho so popular that its customers wait up to an hour in the parking lot for a spot at one of the sticky, cramped tables. If you want beer, you'll have to visit one of the competitors down the street. 815 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel. (626) 308-0803, goldendelirestaurant.com. Mon.-Tues., Thurs., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Closed August. No alcohol. Lot parking. Vietnamese.
99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:
Church & State
Din Tai Fung
El Huarache Azteca
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Good Girl Dinette
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Meals by Genet
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Pollos a la Brasa
Sapp Coffee Shop
Son of a Gun
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Waterloo & City
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