No. 57, Gudeg at Indo Ranch

If you're lucky enough to see gudeg at Indo Ranch, one of a handful of OC Indonesian restaurants (and I use that term very lightly here), it will be offered without rice. Indo Ranch's version is close to perfect despite missing the beef rinds in the sambal…that is if you even know what I'm talking about.

As I've said before, unless you're Indonesian or married to one, it's probably safe to assume you've never heard of gudeg. This is a dish of young jackfruit braised in coconut milk, palm sugar and spices until it turns soft and ruddy. It's uniquely Javanese, hailing from Yogyakarta, a city forever linked to the dish as New England is to clam chowder.
To see it is to know why it remains almost exclusively a regional specialty; it's not an attractive mound of food. Largely monochromatic (in shades of brown and beige), it's served without anything green as garnish.

The word gudeg specifically refers to the jackfruit component, which
looks like a fallen-apart pot roast to the untrained eye. But just as a
Thanksgiving turkey without its trimmings, gudeg isn't complete without
its typical sides of a hard-boiled egg, tofu, chicken cooked in a
coconut curry, and slippery beef rinds simmered in a chile-spiked hell
sauce called sambal goreng krecek (as I said, this last part is not in
the version that Indo Ranch sells in their refrigerators). And then
there's this, the whole meal has to be taken home, reheated and eaten
with plenty of rice that they, again, won't supply.

Apart from the fact that Indo Ranch sells the stuff in pre-packed,
chilled containers for take-out, you should also know that Indo
Ranch is remodeling as we speak. So it's not even open. This
post is to encourage them to hurry it up. They had plans on turning itself
into a full-fledged eatery with actual dining tables and a menu last year, so let's hope when they do
reopen, it will be as a restaurant, and not what it usually means when a
restaurant closes and says they're remodeling. If it's the latter,
there will be one less Indonesian restaurant in OC, and, for me, that will be a sad, sad day.

The list so far:

58. Salted Caramel Gelato at N'Ice Cream
59. Live Amaebi at Sushi Imari
60. Any Burrito from Dos Chinos
61. Olive Tree's Iftar
62. Sonoran Dog at Rubalcava's
63. Sizzling Hiramasa Sashimi at The Catch
64. Yakisoba Dog from Dogzilla
65. Crispy Pork Belly from Lucca Cafe
66. French Toast with Bacon at Flurries Shaved Snow Bar
67. The Venetian Roll at Sushi at The Venetian Gentleman's Club
68. Okaki Asparagus at Hamamori
69. The “Fried Egg” at Eat Chow
70. Nam Kao Tod at Vientiane Restaurant
71. Chicken Ramen at Jinya Ramen Bar
72. Pig Snout at Tacos & Carnitas Sahuayo
73. Kale and Mushroom Flatbread at 320 Main
74. Congee at King Lobster Palace
75. Fish and Chips at Slapfish
76. Fries at Playground

77. Carne en Su Jugo at La Cocina de Mi Abuelita
78. S'mores at Ti Amo Biscotti & More
79. Broken Rice at Dat Thanh
80. Bulgogi and Potato Pizza at Chicken & Pizza Love Letter
81. Braised Bacon at Break of Dawn
82. Cake Donut at Cream Pan
83. Bistec de Pollo at Mercado El Rey
84. The Rhino at Rancho a Go Go
85. Cabernet Brownies at Blackmarket Bakery
86. Cookie Monster at Lola Ice Cream and Deli
87. Polenta Board at CUCINA Enoteca
88. Falafel Taco at Taco Asylum
89. Wagon-Wheel Bread at THE RANCH Restaurant
90. Toothpick Tacos at Mexico Supermarket
91. Hoppin' John at Memphis at the Santora
92. Free Beans and Chips at Taqueria Zamora
93. Pig in a Blanket Waffle with Gringo Bandito at Cafe Calacas
94. “Pork Hash” at Huong Giang
95. Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla At Kogi
96. Licuados at Mil Jugos
97. Hawaiian Ahi Poke at California Fish Grill
98. Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota
99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California

Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010!
Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2011!

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