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Aug 20, 2008 09:08 AM

Saturday Indonesian Food Fair in Duarte Shut Down

I come bearing bad news to those who love Indonesian food.

The weekly, Saturday morning gathering of Indonesian food vendors at the Duarte Inn (called Pondok Kaki Lima) is facing the same fate as Wat Thai Temple's weekend food festival.

Last week, The State shut them down, raided the houses of the sellers. The rumor is that they were singled out not because of complaints from neighbors or the city (in fact, the mayor of Duarte comes to eat there often), but due to complaints from someone who didn't like the competition.

What a sad, sad turn of events for a place that served great food and created a mini-economy within L.A.'s Indonesian community, whom aren't numerous enough to have neighborhood enclaves like the Thais or the Filipinos.

With this, the trend is disturbingly obvious: Street food in L.A. is on its way to becoming extinct. First, Wat Thai, then taco trucks, and those bacon-hot dog carts. Now Pondok Kaki Lima.

I'm sighing with disappointment as I type this.

Here's a post on how it used to be:

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  1. This is not disturbing - it's infuriating! Of course this is no proper forum for political rants, but if you want to politicize a bunch of food freaks this is certainly the way to do it. Will it ever come to brawl scenes, with enraged diners pelting cops with globs of beans and tacos de lengua, or pouring bowls of noodles over their heads? What's more annoying is that it's not the local governments doing this, but state and county, so complaining to the mayor or city council is useless. Disgusting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Tell me about it. Now I wish I visited more often than just once every two months!

      1. re: Will Owen

        Hello! Okay I was going to go out there last month with my Indo friend but she had to go on an emergency trip. I did call the Hotel though and they are having the food fair in the strip mall in front of the hotel in like a restaurant.

        I am going out there this weekend and will update everyone.

        Take Care :)

      2. Just curious, what's your source for this information? I've been hunting through the San Gabriel Valley Tribune website, various Duarte websites, googling State of California stuff, and I can't find out anything about it. It seems odd to me that the State of California would have any jurisdiction over this - and what would they be raiding the houses of the sellers for?

        2 Replies
        1. re: estone888

          Good question: My source are my parents, who are friends with most of the vendors and also the owner of the Duarte Inn who hosts the weekly events. My folks are there every Saturday. I visit maybe once every two months.

          As much as this is news to us food lovers, I doubt this would register even a blip in the local newspapers. Plus it just happened.

          As for why they would be raiding the house of the sellers, your guess is a good as mine. But it happened. I'm sure there's more detail to be revealed if one of sellers were to speak out.

          1. re: elmomonster

            This certainly does put a hitch into the works of my coming Saturday plans. I was going to introduce three Dutch friends to it.

        2. NOOO! Being Indonesian in LA with little choice as to "home" cooking ... this not only puts a hitch on my upcoming weekend plan, but life in general :(
          Is there any hope that this is not true? Or will reopen, possibly?

          This is just sad! I love all these places (and those portable "places") that are becoming extinct :<


          1. Thanks for the update -- sad as it is -- elmo. I echo the angry sentiments. This is outrageous and a blow to the SoCal culinary landscape.

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