Golden Deli Express, a new age and quicker variation of the original Golden Deli comes to Temple City at last.
Written by JASON WU / Published March 4, 2011
After much wait and anticipation, Temple City’s own Golden Deli Express has finally opened on Las Tunas Drive.
A more “express”, or quicker to-go, version of the original Golden Deli that rests on the more western stretch of Las Tunas in San Gabriel, the restaurant offers the same food as the mother branch, but in a more new-age feeling.
Golden Deli is famous among people who frequent Vietnamese restaurants. It is one of the most popular Vietnamese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, and on most days, there is a ridiculously long wait line to eat there. It is featured as one of the 196 businesses on “The Best of LA” as well as other Los Angeles news reports.
The prime item on the menu, like that of other Vietnamese restaurants, is beef noodle soup, known as pho. Pho broth is made from beef bones and spices such as cinnamon, star anise, and cloves and is broiled for days in order to create a rich soup. The noodles themselves consist of thin, white, rice sticks.
What sets pho beef apart from other beef noodle soups is that the beef consists of thin slices of rare beef that is added to the bowl right before serving, cooking in the soup right before it is presented to you. The bowl comes with a dish that is adorned with jalapenos, bean sprouts, mints, and a lime to garnish and flavor the soup with, to each their own preference.
The main difference between the two Golden Deli’s is predominantly atmosphere. Golden Deli Express offers a brighter, new-age variation of the restaurant, whereas Golden Deli sported dark lighting and a more traditional atmosphere. Golden Deli Express has plastered walls, with one wall at the cash register sporting brick and a glass menu mounted on the wall. The other Golden Deli sported oil paintings depicting landscape.
The new restaurant is obviously very Americanized and was meant to target a broader and possibly younger audience.
When it comes down to food, there is a noticeable difference. Although the pho soup is quite good, it seems to lack a certain taste that Golden Deli seemed to offer. Of course, it could possibly be the usage of less MSG, as the usual “MSG coma” after the soup felt quite diluted.
The plates used to hold the rice dishes are smaller than the ones normally used in Vietnamese cuisine (very large with a small dip that holds all the contents) making the dish look relatively small. However, it seemed to hold just the same amount of food because it filled me up just the same. The eggrolls, which the original Golden Deli was famous for, is still made the same way here, with the traditional rice paper wrappings for the shell, rather than conventional wonton wrappers.
When it comes to prices, however, this place is just a tad bit cheaper than other Vietnamese restaurants, which makes this a huge plus, especially in this economy.
Overall, if you want a quick meal, love Vietnamese food, or just want to support Temple City businesses, it is a must for you to come check this new eatery out. It is located on 9664 Las Tunas Dr. And you order ahead of time by calling (626) 285-2895.
Editor’s Note: The views of this author do not reflect the views of the Temple City Voice or its staff.