Belacan Grill Now Open In Tustin

Belacan Grill Now Open In Tustin
avlxyz @ CC BY-SA 2.0

For years, the question of where to get Malaysian food in the LA area was answered on the Chowhound boards with "Belacan Grill in Redondo Beach or Tropika in Tustin."

Then Tropika closed and we Orange Countians were forced to endure the awful, awful trek to LA's South Bay for our fix of beef rendang, roti canai and kangkong belacan.

Fortunately for us, Belacan Grill took over the old Tropika location on Seventeenth Street in Tustin. Despite what they told Lesley (open September 1st or shortly thereafter), they are now finally open and have posted the menu on their temporary website (note to other aspiring restaurateurs: THIS IS A GREAT IDEA AND YOU SHOULD DO IT.)

If you've never had Malaysian food, it's not exactly subtly flavored. Beef rendang is a curried punch upside the head, and kangkong belacan is Chinese water grass (called ong choy in Cantonese and rau muong in Vietnamese) with an immensely pungent shrimp paste called belacan.

I'm looking forward to a visit to see how it compares with the original branch and to get my curry mee on.

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