Curry laksa, curry mee, la sa ga, or khao poon??
So today, the NY Times posted this:
Now I am craving such soups. Help a gal out Chowhounders--where in Los Angeles can I find such delicious concoctions?
Ha! I was going to post the same thing. It's pretty good at Singapore Banana Leaf in Farmer's Market, but anyone who has a better suggestion, please chime in.
Do they have it at Simpang Asia?
I also recommend the Khao soi at Spicy Thai BBQ and the vegan version at Bulan.
Singapore's Banana Leaf
6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
10433 National Blvd 2, Los Angeles, CA 90034
5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen
4114 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
I had lunch at Simpang Asia today and had the Laksa (it's on the menu in the "soup" section). Though I have never been to S.E. Asia and this was my first time eating said dish, I must say it definitely satisfied the craving I've had ever since reading that article in the NYT. The broth was a light green coconut milk with just a hint of creaminess, filled with shrimp, shredded chicken, sliced fish cake and hard boiled egg. All of the ingredients were fresh and seemed high-quality, especially given the price (six and change). Wasn't as spicy as I would like, but it came with a very tasty and fiery green chili concoction on the side that took care of that problem nicely. Also, I would have liked more noodles, but I probably didn't need them since I'm still full an hour and a half later... I will be back there again soon to sample other goodies on the menu.
Banana Leaf in the Farmers Market on Third and Fairfax does a good laksa. I saw the NYT article too and was actually thinking of going there tonight. They also do a great mee goreng.
You should post on the California board. You can (on topic for this board) get curry mee at Tropika in Tustin, which is Central Orange County, perhaps not too far. I don't know that I would drive from Oceanside for it, and you will have to insist on real food, not dumbed-down for white people food (seriously, the default laksa given to white people has no chile in it and has sliced boneless skinless chicken breast -- when I sent it back with a plea for REAL laksa, with fish cake and tofu puffs and a hell's worth of chile, I got it.)
17460 E 17th St, Tustin, CA
I'm not sure if Redondo Beach/Torrance is within reach for you, but we really like Belacan Grill on 190th. It has a nice dining atmosphere that most Malaysian/Singaporean places lack, and the food is pretty darn good as well. Some consider curry laksa and curry mee to be soups, while others consider them to be "wet" noodles. Whatever the case, click on their website and look over their pdf menu under "Noodles." The food is halal, and they do very respectable versions of food items that are typically found in this part of Asia. Another plus is they have a full menu that includes local desserts and beverages, as well as a decent wine list as well. I've personally never had wine with this kind of food as wine is somewhat new to this part of the world, as well as the difficulty in pairing the wines with the unique flavors that each dish can bring. But it may be worth try!
Here's a recipe for Soto Ayam, although unlike the clear broth soup described in the NY Times article, coconut milk is used. Most Indos I know make their own Soto Ayam from Munik brand of seasoning for Bumbu Soto Ayam. Munik is sold at 99 Ranch around LA. Instead of using the paste in the recipe, use the Munik seasoning pack.
Yasmin Malaysian restaurant in Alhambra makes fantastic Curry Laksa. I have been eating (craving) it for close to 20 years. Strongly flavored coconut curry broth with shrimp,chicken,fried tofu puffs,carrot,okra,eggplant,and you choose rice or wheat noodles. Add an order of Hokkien Mee for noodle nirvana which will provide sensory overload when the dishes arrive at the table. Prices are extremely reasonable and portions are generous.
Litz in Monterey Park is ostensibly a hong kong style cafe that also serves singaporean specialties. Their Laksa is quite good.
For the Malaysian version, try Penang in West Covina (for relocated people from the northeast, this Penang is related to the restaurant in New York and New Jersey of the same name).
Khao Poon is a traditional Lao curry noodle soup, so if you're craving Khao Poon (aka Kao Poon), then try searching for a Lao restaurant in your area. You can also google "Khao Poon" and you'll see a website with a recipe for this traditional Lao soup.
Here's a thread about Khao Poon:
On a different note, there's a wonderful northern Lao soup that you might like called "Khao Soi", which is found in Luang Prabang, Laos. The Chiang Mai version in northern Thailand is similar to the Luang Prabang version, but they each have their own unique touches.
Khao Soi is a Burmese-influenced dish that's popular in northern Laos (Luang Prabang) and northern Thailand (Chiang Mai).