The Gorbals, GLT Gribenes Lettuce TomatoThe Gorbals, and a dog

Recently, I came upon this piece at My Jewish Learning while reading about the integration of Ashkenazim and Sephardic cuisine. Upon further research, the origin of the above piece was traced to an article by Lisa Keys in Forward Magazine circa 2003.

Basically, Ms. Keys is asking (or has been asking) the Jewish people to “chuck the cholent” and start doctoring up hummus. The Gorbals never got that memo and produced 1 of the silliest dishes of 2010: bacon wrapped matzah ball.

Barring the High Holidays… strike that, this is a discussion of bacon wrapped matzah balls, I don’t think the Biblia Hebraica was consulted during the menu creation at this downtown house of fusion worship… Matzah has multitude of applications when served in cracker form. Hummus on matzah works. Heck, prosciutto on matzah probably offends just as well. A dry chunk of matzah ball not found swimming in the proverbial chicken stock, blindfolded by a piece of bacon, then baked, produces an inimitable chunk of gag-inducing sickness that no gentile can possible love. That’s not all! It’s served with a side of “mustard aioli”. The amalgam, best put, has a mealy mushed center with horrible mouth feel, and the slide down gullet is assisted by errant mayonnaise. Think: baked matzah ball dipped in mayo for $5. Some stomachs will want to oust every bite of this nonsense out ASAP, from the top, or through the bottom.

Take a look at the video by LA’s own Jewish Journal below:

Is anyone actually convinced by the hostess’s contrived utterance of “it’s good”? A more appropriate final frame would be :

Disastrous Jewish “interpretations” roam aimlessly all over the menu. The GLT (Gribenes, lettuce, tomato)? Cold, dry, lifeless, married to overabundant tasteless iceberg and flavorless tomato. The Chinese understands the worthiness of schmaltz; it’s sad to see a proud half-Jewish chef muck up fried chicken skin. And what’s the obsession with green onion? Julienned, it is served as topping to 2 of the dishes orders (though it should’ve been 3, as the bacon matzoh was served incompletely plated). Green onions, perhaps as a punny way to fully integrate Chinese cooking into the menu (?), have also been spotted topping the pork confit, the beef tongue, the octopus, and it is also a stand alone dish (grilled green onions, romesco sauce $7).

The Gorbals Bacon wrapped matzah ball The Gorbals Fried Chicken with "Watermelon"

That’s correct, seven dollars for grilled green onions. Even if the romesco was made from Spanish almonds, Italian pine nuts and first cold-pressed olive oil hand carried to LA from Greece, there is no way I, knowing 2 bundles of California grown green onions are available in Chinese supermarkets for $1, am paying $7 for a plate of this green. Therein lies the final problem: $50 and 2 pieces of dinky fried chicken ($14) later, 2 people left hungry, sober. $10 to buy the staff beers? How about $10 to buy us a beer instead? This stuff makes New York style Chinese food seem tasty.

The Gorbals
The Gorbals in Los Angeles on Fooddigger



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  • Sorry you had to spend the money. Glad I won’t have to though.

  • sku

    Too bad, I was looking forward to trying this place.

  • Went there with a friend about a year ago. Some of the food isn’t bad and perhaps worth a visit, but alot of it seems like “fusion-y” gimmicks more than well thought out dishes, especially when you consider the price. You’re right about the GLT, no one in there right mind should pay $8 for a cold sandwich of chicken skin, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes on *untoasted* rye. Save your $$ for Langer’s.

  • Anonymous

    Dear God. Such an acidic review! Poor Gorbals. I’ve been wanting to visit the place, esp bc I’ve heard good reviews on it. Hm…I’ll still have to visit, just to see for myself. Wish me luck.

  • The fact that she’s not ripping off her clothes with pleasure upon consumption of this pork and kosher fusion item, and making out with the chef as a result, means it needs more work.

  • Anonymous

    Was it acerbic? You know the feeling after you puke out your hangover? That’s acidic. I only say this because I gagged on the second “ball in my mouth” and didn’t want to eat the rest of the night.

    You should visit but bring an oppa.

  • Anonymous

    it was $8 + tip / tax which means a $10 “sandwich”. I was obviously not in the right mind. Stupid me.

  • Anonymous

    The D and I both like the bacon wrapped matzo. But we love you & your audacity even more! Muahaha! Great review!

  • wow. your words burns…like chlymydia.

  • lolz. grisbene should be just served with salt and pepper and beer, noshed like pork rind chips!

    fusion is so hard. if you don’t do it right, you just end up looking like a wannabe.

  • Anonymous

    Is someone speaking from experience? What about Claps bags? What’s that like?

  • Anonymous

    *sigh* I wish I can be more Jewish. JGold enjoyed the matzah balls. I feel like the odd man out.

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  • DTLA has a shortage of good food, unless it’s really expensive; This restaurant has such potential (and a great location)(and decent hours) but the food is unsatisfying and yes, at times, disgusting. Get the basics down before you start experimenting.

  • Anonymous

    Spot-on observation, and 1 that I wasn’t conscious of previously,
    though now it’s obvious many of us only visit DTLA during HH.

    I really wanted to give Gorbals a fair shake that night, even breaking
    the original budget. After 3 failed dishes, the burger was almost

    Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment. This blog doesn’t get too
    many visits by bona vide artists.

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  • This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

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