We came across Bali Hai after a work project had one of us exploring Ninth Street. This Mongolian grill, in the shopping center just past Elmo’s on the west side of the street, has a concept we’d heard of before—fill a bowl with the ingredients of your choice and have it stir-fried while you wait. The challenge, we found, is in maximizing the food for your dollar—if you can get it in the bowl, they’ll cook it—and using your creativity to build your own meal.
Then you add the flavor to your meal by selecting one of their six sauces—House, Sweet & Sour, Spicy, Combination or Curry (unfortunately you can only choose one per meal). If you go with the spicy sauce you get to choose your heat level from a scale of 1 to 10—since we had to return to work we decided to keep it conservative and stayed at 5-6, but we both felt like we could have handled a couple degrees hotter and are very curious about Level 10.
The most enjoyable part of the meal was watching how creative everyone got with filling their bowls to maximum capacity—there appear to be some seasoned pros. There are no clear rules about how much food you can take per bowl, but basically as long as it stays stacked you can keep building (kinda like Jenga). We saw one guy using a pyramid strategy; others just have efficient packing methods. Now that we know this we would probably stick to one bowl on another visit—many people got more food in one bowl than we got in two.
Growing up in the Village of Yesteryear
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