After last week’s Chengdu Impression review, Jonathan Gold keeps the regional Chinese cuisine kick going with a review of Mas’ Chinese Islamic. The large Anaheim restaurant with “a lot of bus-size [parking] spaces” by Jamillah Mas’ is perhaps best suited to the “needs of large families than to scattered parties of two or three.” That’s due to an enormous menu of both orange chicken-type dishes that the Goldster “wouldn’t recommend,” and more interesting, Chinese-Islamic fare:
There is that sesame bread stuffed with green onions, either the giant one or a thinner, somewhat crispier and tastier version that comes out in about a third of the time. (Think of it as thick- versus thin-crust pizza.) You can stuff bits of “Mongolian” beef into the bread, or lamb stir-fried with cumin, dry-fried string beans with chile, or lamb with green onions. If there are a lot of you, you might consider the crunchy bread stuffed with red bean paste too. It isn’t a bad dessert.
Most of the cold dishes are lovely — spicy cold beef, cold tripe with chile — especially slices of gently spiced beef tendon pressed into a translucent sort of terrine, and maybe the delicate, slippery mung-bean sheets slicked with garlicky sesame paste. [LAT]
Although the Times critic notes that “there was a time in the not-so-distant past when Islamic Chinese cooking looked like the future; a future awash in sesame sauce and mutton-organ warm pots,” that trend never seemed to come to full fruition. Nevertheless, Mas’ comes out sounding like quite the place to try home-style croutons in lamb stew from a food trend that almost was.
Mas’ Chinese Islamic
601 E Orangethorpe Ave