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The Vitruvian Post

Golden Bowl

Photo provided by www. GoldenBowl.88.com.

Photo provided by www. GoldenBowl.88.com.

Lionel Quintanilla, Student Contributor

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Low-key Japanese fare on the outskirts of South LA

It must have been 5:00 p.m. on a blustery cold day, cruising along with my father down Alondra Boulevard. Having last eaten at eight in the morning before real estate workshop, I looked desperately for some place to shed my suit jacket and find some sustenance. “How about that place?” he inquired. He was pointing to the Golden Bowl restaurant in Paramount, a hole-in-the-wall joint serving Japanese comfort food out of an old 1960’s Taco Bell (with all the Mexican decor still in place, mind you). Forgetting momentarily my discerning tastes in decorum, I pulled in.

The Golden Bowl, technically known as Golden Bowl Teriyaki #2, is one of the many such establishments located throughout the Southland. Placed in such inconspicuous locales as strip malls, shopping centers, and commercial neighborhoods, their purpose is quite simple: to provide an exotic, flavorful alternative to the working man’s diet of sandwiches and burgers without breaking the bank. On any given day, you are certain to encounter a myriad of such clientele, from a contract arguing over the price of drywall, or a mobile phone salesman finally having a peaceful moment to himself.

I ordered something simple, a beef teriyaki bowl with rice and green onions, which the cashier assured me was one of the most popular items on the menu. I sat down at one of the serape-colored tables, ready to wait an eternity. However, as soon as I sat down and opened my phone, the cashier called to say my food was ready. Geez, that was quick. If the food was half as good as the service, I was in for a treat.

To say this teriyaki was a piece of art would be an understatement; every component of the dish melded perfectly with the others to create a fine amalgamation of flavors. The beef, grilled on a flat top, was soft and tender, charred just enough to give it a subtle, earthy note. Below it sat a bed of sticky rice; a bland affair, but it made all the difference. The mild taste, sweetened only slightly with a dash of rice vinegar, served as the perfect accompaniment to cut the richness of the beef teriyaki.

And finally, we come to the sauce, which is so often the piece that can make or break a great teriyaki dish. While consisting only of four simple ingredients (soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and ginger), the balance is incredibly delicate: too much soy, and it becomes little more than a salty paste. Too much sugar, and it’s a sickly-sweet mess. However, at the Golden Bowl, I found the perfect combination: a fresh burst of sweetness from the sugar first entered the palate, mixing slowly and gently with notes of zesty ginger as they met the earthy notes of the beef.

If it sounds like I’m describing a complex opera rather than Japanese fare, you’d probably be right. To my starving self, every bite was heavenly. But perhaps that’s the beauty of a teriyaki: at its core, it’s comfort food of the simplest kind. If you ever find yourself in the need of a hearty, satisfying meal on the cheap, you can do no worse than the Golden Bowl.

Golden Bowl Teriyaki | 8514 Alondra Blvd, Paramount, CA | (562) 633-8799 | Mon. thru Sun., 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. | Parking lot | Prices from $5 to $20

 

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Golden Bowl”

  1. Logan E. on February 9th, 2018 10:01 am

    I love the way you described everything so vividly. It gives the reader a really good picture of what you are talking about. Good Job!!

    [Reply]

  2. Sterling Blagg on February 9th, 2018 10:01 am

    Interesting article which talks about a unique local restaurant with hearty food. I’ll be sure to drop this place a visit the next time I’m around the area.

    [Reply]

  3. Kemai Richardson on February 9th, 2018 10:09 am

    I appreciate how you wrote a restaurant review in the manner of a short story. The imagery and sensory details were very meticulous. This makes someone want to experience the same exact time capsule of satisfactory.

    [Reply]

  4. Mr. Jackson on February 9th, 2018 10:14 am

    Mr. Quintanilla,
    I appreciate your knowledge of what “can make or break a teriyaki dish.” I have preached to all that would listen that the sauce is everything. Great article and I hope one day we can travel throughout Los Angeles and review restaurants.

    [Reply]

  5. Elaiza Villegas on February 9th, 2018 10:17 am

    Good job Lionel:)

    [Reply]

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