Golden Garlic (San Jose)

Last night I explored the “Tianjin” section of the menu at the S De Anza Blvd location of Golden Garlic http://www.goldengarlics.com/menu.html . Some of these sound similar to Beijing dishes— can anyone explain how the seasonings, for example, in the Tianjin-style noodles with soy-bean paste (zha jiang mein), might differ? A few other local restaurants have Tianjin chefs and feature Tianjin snacks, such as dumplings and pancakes, but none of their entrees advertise Tianjin origin.

The flavors of the jian bing guo zi, a mung bean flour pancake cooked with an egg, was more integral, or absorbed, to the pancake than others I’ve had in the Bay Area, which tend to thickly lather on sauces. I’m not the most egg-happy person, so I’d prefer more saucing. YMMV. The crunchy item in the center is fried wheat dough, like a wonton wrapper, rather than a Chinese doughnut (you tiao) or tofu skin.

The house specialty, Golden Garlic Beef, was excellent. The charred garlic cloves were fully cooked, but too firm to smash into a paste. Their aroma, and a black sauce made with ground pepper (black or white, I’m not sure), flavored up the soft chunks of beef (loin?), each of which was about the same size as the garlic cloves.

Mountain yam and wood ear fungus was mild, and I liked the subtle tartness provided by goji berries. The mountain yam slices reminded me of jicama,

They also have a few pages of the menu dedicated to Sichuan food. Anyone tried these dishes? How do they compare to Sichuan Chili in the nearby food court? http://www.chowhound.com/post/sichuan-chili-chowdown-report-san-jose-1011497u

Hyper B , I think you missed the N . I do like the name of the city Sam Jose .

[quote=“hyperbowler, post:1, topic:3160”]
Mountain yam and wood ear fungus was mild, and I liked the subtle tartness provided by goji berries. The mountain yam slices reminded me of jicama,

[/quote]I found mountain yam interesting because its often just cooked resulting in the jicama-like texture. Although I generally prefer it to be cooked longer so the texture turns potato-ish. How did you like the mountain yam itself? I assume the dish didn’t have any seasoning beyond the flavors provided by the ingredients and salt?

All pepper? Is it super peppery?

I like the mild taste of the mountain yam. The dish had a savory quality to it that is similar to Sichuan stirfried potato shreds, and I think that was from the yam itself rather than broth or MSG.

Yes, It is peppery in the sense that whole pepper encrusted seared tuna is peppery, and I felt that the pepper balanced out the other flavors of the dish. It’s not quite as harsh as finely ground pepper would be. My photo of the beef is pretty bad — The dish was much more black and very pretty. The peppercorns are coarsely crushed and I thought they were finely ground peanuts before biting into the dish. You can see them in the picture, they are tan.

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