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Dec 8, 2006 08:06 AM

Little Malaysia Review

I've been a loyal Little Malaysia customer for quite some time now so I thought I'd never get around to writing that review for them...til now.

Having grown up in Malaysia, we Malaysian transplants are hard pressed to find a suitable LA eatery that serves authentic fare.

I'm almost a little hesitant to talk about it...this place is already crowded enough as it is. But sharing is caring and since it is my favourite malaysian joint here so far (it kicks Nonya's ass any day) I probably owe it to them to share.

Favorite Dishes:

Kankung belacan: It's kankung (veggie) with fermented shrimp paste. Maybe it's an acquired taste. My SO hated it the first time he tried it but over time it's grown on him to become one of his favorites.

Beef rendang: Comes complete with cloves. The better version is at Penang Malaysia but this one still brings a smile to my face.

Char kway teow: Get it hawker style by asking for it EXTRA spicy with some chopped chili in soy sauce on the side.

Clear soup with fish balls. Reminds me of simple cooking from the island provinces.

Seafood in garlic sauce: Delicious and healthy.

Satay beef: BBQ skewered on bamboo sticks accompanied with chopped red onions swimming in a syrupy sweet sauce.

Sambal sotong: Squid in a tangy spicy sambal sauce.

Phone: 626-401-3188
Address: 3944 Peck Rd # 8 El Monte, CA 91732
Cash only.

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  1. Who in LA makes the best Curry Laksa (NOT Penang Laksa)?

    1 Reply
    1. re: broncosaurus

      I too am curious. Who makes the best coconut curry laksa?

    2. have you tried panang? just curious about your thoughts...

      1. Just curious - how long have you been eating here? We used to love this place back in the late 90's - so much so that we dared to bring visiting family from Malaysia to eat here... You know - people from Malaysia and Singapore can go only so long without eating Malaysian/Singaporian food - they'll last maybe as long as it takes to get out of baggage claim at LAX. Well, we drove all the way from the Westside through afternoon traffic on a Saturday, only to be seriously disappointed by the sudden change in quality and taste of their food.

        With bad laksa all over our faces, we had to (s)curry out of there with an outraged and disappointed crowd of six angry and unsatiated Malaysians on our tail, berrating us in Hokkien and cursing us with bad luck for the next 100 years... OK, I've embellished just a bit, but we truly were disappointed, as the spices in the red curry tasted rancid, the vegetables were very tired, and the laksa had no umph... Please tell me that your very astute taste for Malaysian cuisine begs to tell me that we just caught them on a mental vacation to Langkawi, and that we should give them another chance...

        2 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          Hi Bula V,

          Little Malaysia has great Char Kway Teow.
          It's true that sometimes it's not to spec.
          The best cook is the dad from Penang, his wife is a good 2nd.
          However the kids (25 to 30+yrs old) don't have their hearts in it,
          when dad and mum can't, you get so-so food.

          Also, some S'poreans (and M'sians) are just too stuck in their tastes and expect the exact same dish they were eating from thier school recess days.

          I've had my own S'pore neighbour fuss abt the food in El Monte.

          Ah well, we diaspora just thank God that we have Little M'sia.
          Now if only there was one nearer to me (Ventura Coutny) - or at
          least in the Valley.

          Selamat Tinggal

          1. re: sudahmakan

            Thanks for the update... Your insight might explain our last meal there... I don't know if you've heard of Belacan Grill in Redondo/Torrance area, and whether it's closer for you or not, but they're very good as well... With a name like Belacan, they'd better be much better than decent... Tari Makasi