This week Jonathan Gold reverts to his natural habitat of San Gabriel Valley, openly declaring the humble Delicious Food Corner, across the street from the grill-your-own-steak Venice Room just north of the 10, a little slice of Hong Kong. The Goldster pontificates on the authenticity of the place, even asserting that dim sum is for tourists, and congee, the specialty here, is for people who long for a taste of home.
You’re probably going to dose the porridge with white pepper, which isn’t the delicate stuff you see in fine French restaurants but a funky, extra-fermented pepper that might give a chef like Joel Robuchon fits — I like it a lot. If you forget to shake a little on, the people sitting next to you at one of the shared tables might tell you so.
And if you manage to get a seat before the 11:30 cutoff, the congee comes with a smallish plate of fried noodles — not beef noodles or shrimp noodles but plain fried Chinese egg vermicelli, leavened with a bean sprout or two but basically unadorned, and smelling of hot, clean oil.
Gold also suggests trying the pineapple buns stuffed with butter, named because of the way the bread looks, as well as the fresh youtiao, essentially Chinese crullers served plain or wrapped in rice noodle. To go along with the rest of the breakfast fare, you get an order of fried noodles, either egg vermicelli or rice-flour. Just go there early to beat the lines.
Delicious Food Corner
2329 S. Garfield Ave
San Gabriel, CA 91754