Monday, March 07, 2005

Taste test: Indo Cafe

Top, corn fritters and soybean tempeh; center, chicken coconut curry; bottom, Chowhounds at Indo Cafe
L.A. Chowhounds convened March 6 for rijstaffel at West L.A's Indo Cafe. Rijstaffel means rice table, which is a feast of a dozen or so Indonesian dishes and of course, rice. The Indo Cafe staff was very friendly and our group of 35 or so completely filled the small, Indonesian-decor restaurant.
We started with large, artisanal style shrimp chips and rolled squiggly shrimp chips, both more flavorful than the typical pre-fried shrimp chips. The dishes started coming out fast at that point: first, a tasty chicken curryish soup with glass noodles and fried betel nut slices on top (!). Then, a nicely fried corn and beansprout fritter -- perkedel jagung, yum! -- served with a slightly dry tempeh soybean cake, both for dipping in sweet chili sauce. This was followed by a traditional gado gado salad with potatoes, egg, tofu and other veggies in peanut sauce, and another fritter, this time mashed potatoes with corned beef.
The courses became meatier at this point: some nicely charred beef and chicken satay; excellent, fruity beef rendang; fried chicken with deep-fried garlic bits and a medium spicy chicken/tofu coconut curry -- similar to a Thai coconut curry, but with slightly different flavor notes.
My impressions: We liked almost everything except the rather dry soybean cake. The biggest hits were the corn fritter, beef rendang and chicken curry. The peanut sauce does get a bit repetitive, however. Another vegetable dish would have rounded out the selection nicely. Indonesian food is even heavier on the potatoes than I had remembered. Although we asked for some spiciness, most of us could have taken even more. I would also liked to have tried the avocado milkshake and other unusual fruity Jello drinks.
Indo Cafe
10428 1/2 National Blvd.
West L.A.
(310) 815-1290
(Indo Cafe is open for lunch and dinner but serves rijstaffel only on certain nights to groups larger than four, so call ahead.)


Anonymous said...


Followed the link from Chowhound. When was this meet organized? I am a regular at Chowhound as well as the Indo Cafe?
John Pressman

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A much better description comes from the Free Online Dictionary which states that hypnosis is: an artificially induced state of consciousness, characterised by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. So what does this mean and how can it be used to your advantage?
Well, the subject of hypnosis has been discussed and pondered since the late 1700s. Many explanations and theories have come and gone though science, however, has yet to supply a valid and well-established definition of how it actually happens. It's fairly unlikely that the scientific community will arrive at a definitive explanation for hypnosis in the near future either, as the untapped resources of our 'mostly' uncharted mind still remain something of a mystery.
However, the general characteristics of hypnosis are well documented. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, deep relaxation and heightened imaginative functioning. It's not really like sleep at all, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you watch a movie or read a captivating book. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the outside world. Your focus is concentrated intensely on the mental processes you are experiencing - if movies didn't provide such disassociation with everyday life and put a person in a very receptive state then they would not be as popular (nor would TV advertising be as effective!). Have you ever stated that a film wasn't great because you just couldn't 'get into it'???
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In this mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed and they release all worries and doubts that normally occupy their mind. A similar experience occurs while you are daydreaming or watching the TV. You become so involved in the onscreen antics that worries and everyday cares fade away, until all you're focused on is the TV. In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is why when a hypnotist tells you do something under trance; you'll probably embrace the idea completely. However, your sense of safety and morality remain entrenched throughout the experience and should either of these be threatened you immediately wake!
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