Dear Mr. Gold,
Last time, I wrote to you regarding my endless search for eel dishes; this time I’m looking for a bowl of curry laksa, as described by Madhur Jaffrey in a recent issue of Financial Times. I live close to the Asian restaurants of Rowland Heights, but I will drive anywhere. I hope I don’t have to travel to Adelaide, Australia.
—Dan G., La Habra
Dear Dan G.,
Curry laksa, one of the great street foods of Malaysia, is one of my favorite soups — a thick coconut broth glazed with chile oil, cubes of fried tofu, bits of chicken and possibly a shrimp or two bathing soft, slithery vermicelli that seem less noodles in themselves than an instrument to give the broth texture, solidity, weight. The dish originated in the coastal city of Penang, but you will find it at almost any Malaysian restaurant. There is a decent version at Yazmin in Alhambra and a very similar dish of curry mee, made with yellow egg noodles, at the Belacan Grill in Redondo Beach. But at the moment the best curry laksa in town may also be the closest to you, at Penang in West Covina, in a mall that is otherwise rapidly becoming a center of Indonesian cuisine. Don’t forget to get an order of rojak too — the savory fruit salad is especially refreshing in summer heat. 987 S. Glendora Ave., West Covina, (626) 338-6138.