Golden Tent stirs up traditional fare

Choose meat, veggies and sauce for a custom dish

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Dining Out review

Golden Tent Mongolian Grill

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Where: 4902 N.E. 94th Ave., Vancouver. Telephone: 360-944-8285. Health score: Golden Tent Mongolian Grill received a score of 25 on Aug. 30. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

Why: Golden Tent Mongolian BBQ Grill is a standalone restaurant that offers the traditional Mongolian grill experience for the whole family seven days a week.

What I tried: I combined chicken, broccoli, carrots, celery, bean sprouts, cabbage, bell peppers, water chestnuts, noodles, garlic and a red pepper powder mix before adding General Tso sauce and a bit of teriyaki sauce. My dining companion opted for lamb to mix with his vegetable and sauce choices.

The grill quickly stir-fried our selections, and we were both happy with the outcome.

I also tried the egg rolls and stir-fried rice from the hot selections. The egg roll was mediocre. I did not find the rice appetizing. It did not have a fresh-made quality and it had an odd flavor throughout it which tasted similar to baking soda.

Atmosphere: The dining room is large with ample, comfortable seating at both tables and chairs and booths. The buffet with stir-fry ingredients is located down one side of the space. Hot, precooked food and sauce options are just beyond this and directs diners toward the giant, round grill for cooking, which is just adjacent. The ceiling from the entry and continuing above the buffet area has hundreds of colorful Christmas tree ornaments hanging from it, and there is a fireplace mid-dining room which is decorated with big package bows.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The protein choices include chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, tofu, shrimp and pollock. A colorful selection of vegetables is available to create a balanced stir-fry. Prepared sauces are on hand or you may create your own from the many options provided. Ice cream is served for dessert and alcoholic beverages are available.

Other observations: The restaurant initially feels clean but closer observation reveals the need for ceiling and floor cleaning and there are some places on the walls in need of repair. The floor of the grill area is strewn with burnt remnants of food which have been mostly swept off to one corner.

The staff was cordial and attentive.

The grill is a fast and efficient solution to a more personalized meal, of which the result is directly related to the diner’s ability to combine ingredients in an appetizing manner.

Cost: Plan on spending $15 to $30.