A Badminton Court in Pomona Serves Excellent Indonesian Food
Indonesian food is not one of the cuisines Los Angeles is known for, so it's a double delight when someone's cooking it excellently. The Cross Court Cafe is doing just that, and keeping one L.A. County tradition alive: It's in an unassuming location.
Cross Court Cafe is the snack shop of the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club II. To reach it, you'll have to be buzzed in at the front of the club, walk through the pro shop and past the entrance to the courts. There you'll find some tables and chairs and a window to order through, next to a short menu taped to the wall.
On this menu is a range of Indonesian classics, mostly rice- and noodle-based, with a weekend special that varies according to the cook's whims. There's wonton soup, black pepper beef with rice and Indonesian fried rice that, when placed before you, will make you think, "I can't possibly finish that." But then of course you do. Indonesian fried rice differs from the fried rice of other countries in that it adds both shrimp paste and fish sauce, along with a healthy glug of kecap manis, a thick, sweetened soy sauce. That salty-sweet combo elevates the dish far above its usual "leftovers" status.
The "snacks" side of the menu is mostly items in the $2 to $4 range, like popcorn chicken and martabak manis, a sort of crepe-like dessert filled with chocolate, sesame seeds, peanuts and cheese. There's also one $10 item: a huge serving of rujak, a fruit salad (mostly mango, pineapple, jicama and apples, though the cooks will swap as needed) tossed in a spicy brown sugar–-and-peanut sauce. This is another dish you might eat more of than expected, as once again you'll be powerless against the flavor combination. This one you might have to share, though, as it really is a whole lot of fruit.
This would all be very restorative after a round of racquet sports (and maybe there's something to that, as Indonesia regularly kicks butt in international badminton championships), but luckily you don't have to be a club member to eat in the cafe. Just bring a hearty appetite.
3410 Pomona Blvd., Pomona; (909) 839-1939.
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