Name: Goji Bistro.
Location: 4260 Cordata Parkway, in Whatcom Plaza across from Whatcom Community College in Bellingham. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Closed Sunday. More information is at 360-656-6291 and gojibellingham.com.
Quick bite: I’ve driven by Goji Bistro a number of times. Each time, I’d tell myself to go back for a meal. And then I’d forget about it after making my way through the roundabout in a part of town I don’t get to often.
I wish I’d stopped in sooner after biting into one of its popular house specials, the Goji Beef.
The $10.95 dish is rib-eye beef that is lightly fried and stir-fried with green and red bell peppers, asparagus slices, white mushrooms, and white onions in the restaurant’s own Mongolian sauce. Sprinkled on top were what the menu described as crispy Japanese wheat noodles, which looked like instant deep-fried ramen that had been broken apart.
This dish lit up my taste buds.
The vegetables were perfectly crunchy. The slices of beef were, if I had to guess, dredged through corn starch to help make them lightly crispy. The bits of dried noodles on top provided additional texture. This dish was rich, smoky, salty and sweet — balanced by the white, steamed rice that came with it.
It also had a hint of burn from pepper flakes and seeds. On the spicy scale, I asked for four out of five stars and had hoped for more sizzle.
I also wish the dish had fewer onions and more asparagus.
But I’d order the Goji Beef again, for another chance to bite into its sweet-smoky-soy flavors.
Side: Goji describes itself as an Asian fusion restaurant and offers flavors from throughout East Asia. Its menu features Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai flavors, and dishes that meld cuisines, such as the bulgogi (Korean) sushi roll (Japanese).
Got suggestions for tasty tidbits in Whatcom County or an eatery known for a particular dish? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2234.