Loading...

The Missing Rice Table 

You can’t rijsttafel in L.A., but there is Indo Kitchen

Wednesday, Sep 19 2007
Comments

Dear Mr. Gold:

Whenever we are in Amsterdam, we always try to take in an Indonesian rijsttafel or “rice table.” Do you know any Indonesian restaurants in L.A. that serve this? I know there are Indonesian deli/fast-food places around, but I was hoping for the rice-table experience. Looking forward to your response.

—Lisa?

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Indonesian Food Court 7

    If you were to find yourself walking at night through the streets of Bali or Kota Kinabalu, you would almost certainly smell food. Sometimes the smell will come from an individual stall specializing in murtabak or roti or some distinct noodle dish, but it's likely the smell will be emanating...
  • Damani Nkosi Flips His Whole Script

    Inglewood rapper Damani Nkosi got his mainstream introduction on Kurupt's 2001 album, Space Boogie: Smoke Odyssey. Having spent much of the decade hanging around Snoop Dogg and his crew, Nkosi was known for his tales of pimpin' and sexual conquests with songs like, "In Love With A Hoe," "You Ain't My Lady."...
  • Paintings the Art Market Will Love

    Do people ever use "opportunist" as a compliment? Like, "She's really just so great at unabashedly playing the system"? It's certainly not being used that way right now, in contentious conversations about what's up with the art market. The art market is a little crazy right now, but maybe you...
  • Surprise! Americans Drink More Wine Than the French

    Congratulations America! We're officially bigger winos than the French. According to the Organization of Vine and Wine, the U.S. became the biggest internal market in the world, volume-wise, as of 2013. We won this coveted title by consuming 29.1 million hectoliters (mhl) of wine - not including vermouth or special wines,...
  • 5 Artsy Things To Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Satyr in Bed

    An artist sets up a mini-museum to memorialize four generations of fictional movie stars, and color swatches take on epic proportions.  5. Video art pop-upEmily Mast's B!RDBRA!N (Addendum), the video counterpart to her 2012 performances, includes that great scene where ritual turns into dancing and the actor in blue sweatpants...

Dear Lisa:

Oddly enough, rijsttafel, a feast of massive mounds of rice surrounded by as many as 40 or 50 side dishes and condiments, is more of a Dutch tradition than an Indonesian one, the colonial equivalent of the multicourse banquets made famous by the French. From what I gather, Indonesians actually find both the word and the concept distasteful, smacking of both colonialism and servitude, so you pretty much don’t see it here. (JB’s Little Bali in Inglewood was the exception, a specialist that kept it going from the ’60s through the ’90s.) The closest equivalent here is probably the nasi rames, combination plates arranged around mounds of rice, that you will find at most of the Indonesian restaurants in town. I especially like the nasi rames at the Alhambra restaurant Indo Kitchen, which offers versions of the dish from several parts of Indonesia — I am especially partial to the nasi Padang, an assemblage of spicy dishes from Sumatra, including a killer dengdeng belado, crisply fried beef in a fresh-chile sambal. You won’t find much of the ceremony — Indo Kitchen is more of a lovable dive — but the Indonesian cooking is great. 5 N. Fourth St., Alhambra, (626) 282-1676.

—Jonathan Gold

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending

Slideshows

  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Smoke.oil.salt's Spanish Cuisine
    Smoke.oil.salt chef (and Valencia native) Perfecto Rocher is valiantly trying to bring the experience of Spain, specifically Catalonia, to the brick space (under a tattoo parlor) on Melrose that used to be Evan Kleiman’s Angeli Caffe.