Could it be? A restaurant in Los Angeles featuring more offaly Chinese food than the old country? Witness the OG sausage turducken as found in Taipei:
Of course Americans are familiar with the typical stuffed sausage, but these are sausages stuffed within a sausage. One’s actually sausage in name only, as anyone familiar with Taiwanese street food could point out. The inside is a stereotypical Taiwanese sweet sausage, stuffed with pork, seasoned with sugar, phosphates and MSG. In Taipei, you eat this homogenous sausage love like a kielbasa. In America, they dole it up all fancy like, with slices of pork sausage interjecting a train of rice sausage. Things are apparently more haute and uppity in America.
Except Be Be isn’t as proper. Instead of using natural casing to hold the gluttinous rice, Be Be gets all literal on our tongues and stuffs gluttinous rice inside FRIED (!!! I DIE!) chitterling. Instead of 糯米大腸 (gluttinous rice big intestine), outer turd should be called 糯米小腸 (gluttious rice small intestine). And the sausage turducken marriage should be called 小腸包小腸 (small intestine wrapped small intestine). Is everyone confused? Do we need a picture?
What really sets Be Be apart though, isn’t the tweaked out native delicacies. It’s the hubub and the commotion created by the merrymakers. This isn’t some sort of mixologists infested party hosted at some swanky historical Hollywood hotel. Be Be attracts the “ah gong” and “ah mah” looking to get sauced. During the weekend before Taiwan’s non-independence day, Be Be was filled with friends and families, all carrying their own adult beverages. Some were so couth as to bring actual wine carriers and stemware. O how the Taiwanese have gentrified in the last 100 years. BYOstemware? Is that Spiegelau?
With its expansive space relative to Be Be (1) shoebox, Be Be (2) looks poised to take on the Goliathan Liang’s Kitchen, currently the dominating force in West Coast Taiwanese cuisine. How authentic is Be^2? Gratis appetizers include stone cold sliced bitter melons done up extra offensive. There is steamed pork blood gluttinous rice dusted with crushed peanuts, there is the obligatory pork pottage, oyster/chitlin’ vermicelli, 2 varietals of stinky tofu (one of which remains a mystery), and there’s even “ba wan”. The doubters will counter with “Huge Tree”, “Nice Time Deli”, “Old Country Cafe”, but Be Be punches back with a fistful of delicate off-the-menu items, most of which are suitable for beer chugging. Those familiar with San Gabriel Valley will no doubt think of Indian next, but sometimes, you just want your tiny toasting-cups of beer without the faux skanks, without the street food mockery.
Though not all is gay here in Rosemead. The oyster omelette, with its perfectly curved edge, is clearly made in a Western style skillet. The grand opening special of pork chop rice, perhaps the quintessential Taiwanese entree, despite the bountiful appearance, is served with a salty/limp pork chop.
A tip to the uninitiated: check out the 5 ways pig intestine is available here at Be Be 2. Animal what?
Be Be (2)
7637 Garvey Ave.
Rosemead, CA 91770