Sunday, February 08, 2009

Simpang Asia: a quick bite from Indonesia

Laksa soup packaged to go

Laksa is one of those warm, comforting, fragrant foods that creeps into your thoughts when the weather turns cold and rainy. When I'm waiting for my son's karate class to finish, I often have lunch in Culver City, but I figured Simpang Asia was just as close. It's not at all true that the Westside is a wasteland for well-priced ethnic food, and Simpang Asia, with a small, neat cafe on one side and an Indonesian grocery on the other, proves the point. For an informal cafe, Simpang has a fairly large menu, with all the standards like gado gado salad, beef rendang, nasi goreng and several noodle dishes. Laksa to go was $6.75, packed carefully with rich curry-scented coconut broth in one cup and tofu, bean sprouts, fish cake, noodles, shrimps and chicken in the other cup. Mix in the little cup of green hot sauce on the side, and you've got the perfect warming lunch for a winter day.
I'll have to get back to Simpang to try Ketoprak salad, which is compressed rice noodle, tofu and bean sprouts with peanut dressing, or maybe nasi gudek, with chicken, egg, tofu and young jackfruit over rice with a side of tofu and beef rinds spicy curry.
For dessert, I braved an avocado shake with chocolate syrup -- it wasn't as much like guacamole as I feared, more like a vanilla shake with a slight edge of avocado flavor, but probably an acquired taste all the same. I remember the Laksa at Singapore Banana Leaf being pretty good, perhaps less creamy but a larger portion. Anyone know where else they do a good one?
Simpang Asia
10433 National Blvd.

1 comment:

glutster said...

Yasmine on Main St. (Alhambra) is where I had my first bowl.

Call first though, they're known for closing out of nowhere.