17 April 2005

Mongol's BBQ => Lempel-Ziv

It has been brought to my attention that I forgot to mention Mongol's in my previous post about my weekend in LA. This will now be remedied.

The place is a greasy, not quite clean, skeevy joint with a small buffet area and a Mongolian grill taking up about half the floor space. The extensive menu consists of getting bbq with either a drink or with soup. I was told I wanted the soda, which I wasn't tempted to question.

"Now for your first LA lesson in CS - compression algorithms and bin packing algorithms."

Never was Matt so right. The entire point of the restaurant is to pack as much food as you possibly can into decent sized bowls. I went for the chicken, beef, onions, pineapple, and scallions. Then comes the noodles. They only cook what's in the bowl (or rather what doesn't fall off the towering pile partially contained by the bowl), so you need to balance as many noodles on top as humanly possible. Apparently people have become so good at piling up food that they've given up trying to put the cooked stuff back in the bowl; the bbqer just dumps your bbq on a huge dinner plate.

Yummy noodles. Oodles of noodles. EVERYWHERE.

Matt and I joked that I should go to UCLA just because it's so close to Mongol's.

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