I Dream of Paratha
Farmers Market L.A. - Stall #122
6333 West Third Street (@ Fairfax)
Phone: 323-933-4627 | map
A purveyor of Singapore/Malay/Indonesian/Indian food, this awning-sheltered eatery stands out as one of the better stalls in the famous Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. It's cash-only, and the paper sign implores you to be patient: this is not fast food. Don't wander too far, however; your number will be called, and your dishes served, charmingly enough, on a banana leaf.
Except for Indian, the cuisine served here is not widely known in Los Angeles, so until we hand over a few SGDs for some satay at the Telok Ayer Market, we cannot vouch for authenticity. All we know is that we dig it.
We think this is what you need to try first. It's roti paratha, a flaky grilled bread, the dough for which is provided by an Indian bakery. It's a little like naan, a little like a puffy crêpe, and a lot like lovely. With the thin but robust vegetable curry sauce clinging to its edges, it becomes sublime. We are going to get this every time we come here, without fail.
Particularly savory is the rendang beef, spicy and suggestive of ginger and coconut. It is somehow familiar, like a chili with gleaming pockets of dark red oils; the solid chunks of beef fall away into striations, to be dragged through the reddish brown sauce. I wonder briefly whether licking a banana leaf clean would be considered poor manners.
Paired with this is a pickled cucumber slaw that has a refreshing vinegar tang; it is protected from the rendang's muscular presence by a cup of white rice.
The Vegetable Tofu Curry is not dissimilar to Thai stylings, full-bodied, soupy and understandable, accompanied by a heap of brilliantly yellow rice. It stains the plastic utensils beyond repair.
With this Bianca likes to get lime juice; it's sour as a spinster aunt who's been left out of the will, but cool and able to take the sun off. I prefer the mango, which is oh! so! revitalizing, as if the soul of all that is "fruit" and "tropical" has been poured into a cup.
Thanks to Ade and David for urging us over to the southern side of the Farmer's Market. You should go buy a t-shirt from them.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), West Side/West Hollywood, Beverly Hills/Wilshire, Indian, Indonesian/Malaysian )
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