Cambodian cuisine surprises, deliciously, at Udom Khmer on Long Beach – press telegram

My deep love for ethnic cuisine throughout my life has led me to see American cities, especially Los Angeles, as a village landscape, neither small nor small, dedicated to immigrant groups arriving on these shores for lunch. I did. … And their dinner too.

So there is Little Tokyo, many Chinatowns, a vast Latin quarter, Thai Town, Little Saigon and more. Also, aside from the sign that says Cambodia Town – East Anaheim Street at the north end of Long Beach as Cambodia Town, it’s easy to mistake it for a neighborhood that isn’t defined by its food.

There are several Cambodian restaurants in the area, but they don’t label themselves as Koreatown, for example. They can be a single restaurant in a mini mall in multiple locations that combine Thai and Khmer cuisine. And yes, there is duplication – food does not recognize political boundaries. But sometimes in a mysterious way, there are places where they stay very close to their roots.

And one of those places Oudom Khmer, At the western end of Cambodia Town – a large restaurant with an equally extensive menu. With a large triple screen that dominates the back wall, it’s a space that’s suitable for events as well as dining. And the day I was there, it didn’t show a happy couple waltzing on the floor – but a basketball game. Not only did it look life size, but also larger than life size.

And the menu spans 10 heavily drawn pages, with dozens of color photographs of many dishes. Jrouk Quai (I’d love to know what a crispy barbecued grilled pork with freshly baked pickles and fish sauce looks like. It looks pretty good to eat, because it is.

  • Udom Khmer has ample space for receptions and other special events. (Photo by Merrill Sindler)

  • Udom Khmer on Long Beach is a larger restaurant than seen from the front. There is an equally large menu featuring various favorite Cambodian dishes. (Photo by Merrill Sindler)

Conveniently, the dishes are not only visually displayed, but also extensively annotated. In fact, some of the annotations are close to a dish essay. Think of Amok Fish. “Mock fish, a national culinary treasure, is a light and classic type of Khmer dish with a creamy coconut scent. In a traditional style, chopped pepper and garlic, lemongrass and curry. Vigorously beat the curry paste containing ingredients such as lime leaves and shallots with a thick stone milk bowl and daisies. The fish, usually river fish, are drowned in the curry paste and steamed. Fish paste, or plahook, is a meal. Another staple, you can see it drying in a bamboo basket by the side of the road, and it’s added to the mix with coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Suddenly, it’s rich. The orange curry was topped with a ribbon of lime leaves and red peppers. “

But phew! This is not an explanation of cuisine, but a conference on Khmer cuisine! Even seemingly simple dishes like Khmer beef jerky are enthusiastically explained. Other Asian counterparts. Like beef on a stick, this item is paired with a sensational cold bottle of beer. “

To be honest, I read less passionate cookbooks and travel reports!

And when it comes to passion, there are plenty of dishes to be passionately cultivated. The 19 small plates (snack and finger food, aperitifs and shareable) at the top of the menu are full of delicious joy. For example, consider the Jek Jien breaded fried banana, lightly dusted with sesame seeds. Or it could be a plate of sweet and sour pickles and spicy fruits unique to this country.

And if that’s the pickle you’ve been dreaming of, there are lemongrass and bell pepper marinated sweet and sour chicken thighs. My mom loved chicken thighs. But they were hot and boring. This is not the case.

For those who want to get closer to the familiar area, there are egg rolls and spring rolls, steamed buns stuffed with barbecue pork, a green papaya salad from an old friend with shrimp. dried and crushed peanuts, and a sweet and sour fish sauce. It seems to appear everywhere. Like “student noodles,” with scrambled eggs, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, green onions and, yes, rice noodles with a sweet and fishy sauce.

Cautious personalities can ensure meals are based on familiar ingredients like noodles and soups. But all of them taste different, so you will stop and wonder where you are. Lemongrass Chicken mixed with peppers, jalapenos and onions, and seasoned with Crown, a Cambodian spice blend, is a dish like Moncha Crown that will definitely make a difference. You will recognize the chicken and the vegetables. But the taste comes from another universe.

Rinse with ice cream if necessary. Yes, Ovaltine. Unexpected – this fun restaurant is too.

Merrill Shindler is an independent Los Angeles-based food critic. Send an email to [email protected]

Oudom Khmer

  • Evaluation: 3 stars
  • Street Address: 1223 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach (city in Cambodia)
  • information: 562-218-7119,
  • cooked: Cambodian
  • when: Lunch and dinner, every day
  • Details: Exotic non-alcoholic drinks; no reservation required
  • atmosphere: A huge space in a Cambodia Town shopping center with a takeaway counter, a large central floor in front of a huge triple screen TV and an everlasting menu. It is a very impressive place to learn Cambodian cuisine.
  • the price: About $ 18 per person
  • Suggested dishes: 7 “not on the menu” specials ($ 13.95 – $ 85), 9 snacks and appetizers ($ 7.95 – $ 8.95), 10 appetizers and shareable ($ 6.95 – 9.95 $), 7 fried noodles ($ 8.95), 9 noodles and rice soup ($ 7.95 – $ 10.95), 17 à la carte main courses ($ 13.95 – $ 21.95), 7 hot pot ($ 15.95), 11 Khmer favorites ($ 12.95 – $ 22.95)
  • menu: MC, V
  • COVID-19 Security: The space allows the tables to be properly separated.
  • Meaning of the stars: 4 (World class! Worth traveling from anywhere!), 3 (Best and outstanding. Worth traveling from anywhere in Southern California), 2 (Great place to eat Worth bang to travel from anywhere. Neighborhood.) 1 (If you are hungry and nearby, but don’t get caught in traffic.) 0 (Honestly, not worth writing.)

Cambodian culinary surprises, deliciously, at Udom Khmer in Long Beach – Press Telegram Source link Cambodian culinary surprises, deliciously, at Udom Khmer in Long Beach – Press Telegram

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