A fellow food blogger named burumun has entitled her most recent post “The Nasi Bungkus Roundup: 5 Banana-leaf Wraps, 60 miles.” In it, our intrepid author scoured Southern California eating the Indonesian dish of rice, meat and veggies wrapped inside a banana leaf and wrote about it. She was spurred to do so because she was “bugged” by this paragraph Jonathan Gold wrote in a review of Indo Cafe in L.A..
“But you could probably scour every Indonesian restaurant in California without finding another nasi bungkus, a sort of TV dinner of sautéed green beans, beef rend[a]ng and curried chicken wrapped with rice and a fiery green chile paste inside a banana leaf. (The leaf's green fragrance works its way into the rice even in the few minutes it will be in front of you in the restaurant but is heaven itself unwrapped for lunch the next day.)”
Surely, burumun thought, other L.A. county Indonesian restaurants would have the dish. Turns out she was right. And he tried just about every one of them (admittedly, there aren't that many Indo joints in L.A.)
As was mentioned in her post, the best nasi bungkus I've had is at Toko Rame in Bellflower, which is just beyond the O.C. border. Toko Rame (pronounced “rah-may”) is practically legendary in L.A.'s Indonesian community for its rendition of the dish. Unfortunately, I can say with confidence that nasi bungkus still cannot be found anywhere in O.C. But I wish it was. Yes, I'm looking at you Warung Pojok, O.C.'s only Indonesian restaurant.