Saturday, September 12, 2009

Like a kid in a candy store @ Simpang Asia

It's Saturday, what to eat for lunch? I wanted something Asian and satisfying, and Indonesian came to mind. Even though I grew up eating Indonesian food, I haven't had much of it in years. I decided to try Simpang Asia in Culver City. I used to drive by it on my way home from work, but never made the stop. Simpang Asia is a mini grocery store and cafe, located in a tiny strip mall with a small parking area. I was actually quite surprised at how clean and sterile the place looked. I find a lot of ethic markets to be a little dirty sometimes.

After perusing the store for some Asian snacks, I took a look at the food menu. There were so many familiar dishes that I wanted to order. They have fried chicken, noodles and rice dishes. They also have laksa, which is a traditional curry noodle soup. My mom's laksa is excellent so I decided not to order this today.

Lumpia Semarang which came with three rolls made with chicken, bamboo shoots and dried shrimp. It was freshly fried, crispy and was served with pickled cucumbers and chili sauce. The lumpia was savory and tasted really good. I especially loved the chewiness of bamboo shoots.

Nasi Bungkus; banana leaves wrapped rice with chicken curry, beef rendang, Balinese style egg, potatoes with chicken gizzards, vegetable curry (or known as sayur lodeh).

The banana leaf was so fragrant and I really loved this dish. The chicken in the curry was tender and the rendang was spicy and savory. The sayur lodeh included turnips, carrots and beans. It was a little bland but when mixed with the other curry sauces, it was delicious. And chewy gizzards. Yummm.... There was also fried kerupuk which is deep fried prawn crackers that are typically served with peking duck or roast pig at Chinese restaurants. I ate the rice dish with the side of chili that had an onion flavor, and was thick and spicy; a little went a long way. This dish was so flavorful and the tasty rice soaked in sauce was heavenly.

I scooped a little bit of everything for my lunch. There was a lot of food that would make at least another meal. And you know it'd be good as leftovers.

Apart from lunch, I also bought some snacks.

Fish and tapioca crackers which are greasy snacks. They are addictive, so try not to eat the whole pack in one sitting. And don't eat them at the office, your colleagues may not appreciate it.

Dried mango and cheese sticks. The latter is made of Holland cheese and Swiss butter. Don't ask why I can eat this when I don't like cheese. The cheese was mild and the sticks were flaky. I also bought two packs of mee goreng instant noodles, which is spicy non-soupy noodles that you can make at home.

You pay for everything including grocery items at the cafe section. The food itself was $11, which was much less than the snacks combined. There was an array of fried snacks and desserts by the cash register but I refrained from grabbing some. As it is, I already had enough food for two meals and snacks that would hopefully last over a week. Definitely next time.

Hits: Nasi bungkus, fast service
Misses: nothing really, I'll be back in no time!
Rate: ****

Simpang Asia

10433 National Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 815-9075

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