Dear Mr. Gold:

It is tragic that Indo Cafe has closed. Tragic. And I have no idea why. Since I'm not about to hire a private detective, as attractive as that may sound, where can you direct me for nasi bungkus (a rice dish wrapped in a banana leaf) and that great fried chicken?

—Michael Carey, via Facebook

Dear Mr. Carey:

Indo Cafe was a favorite, especially for its various and sundry ways with fried chicken. It was too beautiful to die. But the Indonesian community has significantly decreased in numbers since the Asian crash of 1997 — suddenly L.A. was way too expensive for many of the Indonesian students who used to flock here. (Had I known, I would have spent even more time at Agung and Susie's Deli.) And I haven't quite found a replacement for the Indo fried chicken, although Merry's House of Chicken in West Covina rocks pretty hard, and Chicky's BBQ in Duarte isn't bad. You can, though, get nasi bungkus across the street from the old Indo Cafe at Simpang Asia — as was pointed out to me at length when I suggested that Indo Cafe's was the only version in town!

SIMPANG ASIA | 10433 National Blvd., Palms | (310) 815-9075

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