this article in the LA Times, J and I headed to Indian, a Taiwanese pub in San Gabriel. The beer's cheap, the floor's grimy, and the food's flavorful, a bit greasy, and, as the article asserts, much better than anything you'd find at your typical American pub.
To soak up our $10 pitcher of Kirin, we ordered fried duck tongue (teenage Taiwanese waitress, surprised: you like duck tongue? me: well, I've never had it. Do you like it? waitress: No, but you should try it), sauteed eggplant with basil, three-flavored chicken, and grilled corn. First came the tongue, and hot damn, they looked like a big ol' pile of tongues. J took the plunge first--and found there was nothing to worry about. The light batter was peppery and crunchy, nicely balancing the fattiness of the tongues, which weren't chewy at all (as I had feared). Really the perfect pub snack, quite right with a cold beer. We ate about 1/2 the order--as they got colder they lost their allure, and really, how many duck tongues does one need? I will admit, later that night while dozing off in bed I did have a vision of a gaggle of tongueless ducks chasing after me.
Our other favorite dish was the grilled corn, smoky and spicy. I asked the waitress about the flavors and she said it was a "mix of too many spices to name" and also mentioned that they deep fry it first for 30 seconds then grill it so it stays moist.
We arrived early in the night (around 7:15 p.m.) and had no problem getting a spot, but by the time we left a crowd was waiting outside the door. Despite the line, no one seemed to mind that we lingered watching the Lakers as we finished our pitcher, and many nearby tables seemed settled in for a long night of drinking, at least until Indian's 2 a.m. close.
633 San Gabriel Blvd (corner spot in a strip mall)
San Gabriel, CA
**For some real eating adventures, visit Eddie Lin at Deep End Dining.
Erin's Kitchen Index: Los Angeles Restaurants: East-ish