So I just recently was introduced to the fabulous world of Indonesian food. I won’t pretend to be an expert but I did eat at enough places to round-up Five Great Indonesian Restaurants in Los Angeles.
Chicky’s BBQ saw my post and invited me over for dinner and part of the evening’s tasting was their siomay dish, the Indonesian equivalent of shumai. It’s fish cakes drenched in peanut sauce paired with tofu and sliced eggs. Now I’ve tried siomay before at Indo Kitchen but found myself enjoying Chicky’s version far more.
Indo Kitchen’s version (right), while admittedly gorgeous, was layered with a buttery peanut sauce. The texture was almost too creamy. My suspicion is that they mix in actual peanut butter.
But at Chicky’s (left), the peanuts are freshly grounded and the sauce isn’t as heavy as Indo. It mixes well and the taste of the fish cakes is much more prominent.
1206 Huntington Dr.,
Duarte, CA 91010
5 N 4th St
Alhambra, CA 91801
1) I checked out China Islamic Restaurant, one of few Northern-style Islamic joints in Los Angeles. Perhaps what is so alluring about this particular restaurant is the diversity of their clients. There is always a solid mix of Chinese and Arab customers. China Islamic has been in business for over two decades; here’s a guide to some of their most popular dishes. (Serious Eats)
2) Indonesian food is fundamentally earthy: Think of spicy red sambal sauce paired with ayam goreng (fried chicken), or fish paste balls and a creamy peanut sauce over lean bean sprouts and crispy green vegetables. Meals are sometimes served on banana leaves, and each dish is designed to stuff you full. And if you’re into exotic fruit, all of these places serve up a mean durian milkshake. (LA Weekly)
3) Devouring Valley Blvd: a guide to great SGV restaurants + a video of me explaning some of my picks! (CitySearch)
4) Korean BBQ Update: Oo-Kook Now Open in the SGV + A Salad Bar (LA Weekly)
5) Check out my fancy salad makin’ skills. (CityEats)
6) Refrigerator Raid: Gaurav Anand of Moti Mahal Delux (CityEats)
…And on a relevant note, check out the new music video from the Fung Brothers on the 626 boba tea culture
In the fourth grade, I used to tell my class during show-and-tell about how our family would order sea cucumber at restaurants and how instead of chips, we had dried squid at home. My peers thought I was the weirdest thing.
Fast forward a decade and I find myself sitting in front of a international food icon with cameras all around me… explaining how pig intestines with ginger and white vinegar is a Hakka dish traditionally used for morning sickness during pregnancy. And how the Hunan fish head dish originated from the Qing Dynasty.
This week, I had the absolutely humbling pleasure of working with Andrew Zimmern and the Bizarre Foods crew on shooting the beautiful cuisine of the San Gabriel Valley. They hired me as their on-camera guide and I got to live out a dream of eating my favorite foods on national television. Plus, I got to choose all the restaurants. Note that a lot of these were chosen for proximity-sake. I’ve bolded some of the must-trys though.
Here’s where we went:
1. Shaanxi Gourmet: (Western Chinese food)
2. Yung Ho City Restaurant: (Taiwanese Breakfast)
3. Hunan Mao Restaurant (spicy fish head from Hunan)
4. Vege Paradise (faux meat galore)
5. Cafe 85 (Asian bread)
6. 101 Hot Pot (stinky tofu)
7. Aji Ichiban (Japanese snacks by way of HK)
8. Happy Garden (authentic Taiwanese eatery)
9. Tea Station (boba..) but I prefer AU79 if you’re ever in Arcadia
10. Sam Woo BBQ (Canto-style roast duck)
I won’t give away all the details. Saving that for the broadcast. But here’s a sneak preview…of me eating.
I had a blast and am eternally grateful to Andrew, the producers, the crew and the people who helped put me on the map. The best part is that I’m coming out of the experience more motivated than ever. What an amazing way to start off the Lunar New Year. Cheers.
Where are my favorite boba places in Los Angeles? Right here.
Although I will forever be partial to AU79, Boba 7 and Flour + Tea are top contenders for the spot. Honey Boba and Half&Half, although great, are a little bit too sweet for my taste.
A family friend recently reached out to me about a catering business she started. It’s called Meal4Mom and it’s a pre-cooked meal service that targets pregnant moms. All the meals are Chinese and have herbal bases.
She sent over her Confinement Diet (藥膳養生餐), a total of 12 dishes, which goes up to only 2000 calories. It came with two breakfast dishes, four for lunch, four for dinner, an herbal soup and one dessert. It’s designed for people with special needs (especially after-labor, menopause or after-surgey).
Now — disclaimer — at 21-years-old, I suffer from none of the above (knock on wood) but it didn’t stop me for eating every single dish. Dishes ranged from chicken with beans, liver soup, eggs, soba noodles, assorted vegetables and herbal chicken broth.
The price range is around $70-90 but well worth it especially if you’re confined at home and don’t want to settle for mediocre microwavable foods. The herbal components are comforting — especially when it’s freezing outside. And truth be told, unless you’re a heavy eater, these twelve dishes are good for multiple days. You don’t need to be pregnant to order these meals (god knows I’m not) and it’s just an all-around solid catering company. They’re based in the San Gabriel Valley and will hand-deliver the food to you at your front door. All meals are made the morning of.
Their website is all in Chinese but email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and ordering information (yes, they’ll respond in English).