Thursday, August 14, 2008

Missing Laksa in LA ...Out of Luck?

There isn't much in the way of Singaporean food in LA. So what do you do when you're craving it? Would you hold out or would you try your luck?

The Singaporean restaurants I know of are only Singapore Express, and Banana Leaf. Since I was heading to the 3rd St Farmer's Market for the fruit juices at Eple anyway, I wondered if I should try out Banana Leaf. A majority of their menu is decidedly Indonesian, like "nasi goreng"/fried rice etc. Being Indonesian I can't justify my eating Indonesian food at a Singaporean restaurant, especially with Simpang Asia so nearby.

I've been craving, but wasn't sure if I should try my luck here, but in the end I did anyway. Here's a bowl of Laksa from Banana Leaf: Now, the last time I had laksa was what, IMHO, the best katong laksa in Singapore: 328 Katong Laksa. So how does Banana Leaf's Laksa compare? Well ... it's not bad, but it really doesn't. I thought the soup was not bad and they add an adequate amount of the chili sauce, but it was just full of fishballs. While katong laksa contains the right amount and proportion of shrimp, squid, and fish sticks, Banana Leaf's laksa contains a bit of tofu and a whole lot of fish balls ... I like their bean sprouts touch, but otherwise it doesn't quite do it for me. Oh, and it's missing the coriander.

I guess when you're really craving laksa, it's a decent bowl to tide you over until you can make it down to Singapore. This part of the world is sadly underrepresented in LA, hopefull that will change one day ..

Singapore's Banana Leaf

6333 W 3rd St # 122
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-4627

Singapore's Banana Leaf on Urbanspoon
Singapore's Banana Leaf in Los Angeles


Casa Ogden

There's another Laksa variation at Zen Grill on Olympic (used to be on 3rd, too) which I really enjoy, although I can't speak to its authenticity. The one at SBL is onconsistent -- sometimes it can be bland and slimy.

One day I'll have to go to the source, until then I, too, hope LA acquires some more Southeast Asian food.


Thanks for that tip! I have not been to Zen Grill in years now although I used to go for their sea bass.

I've never had laksa there but it seems like I would have to make a trip there soon :)


Hello~ i bumped into your site from the Nasi Bungkus post...

I'm not sure if you've found a LA laksa yet (we haven't!) but we do enjoy prima taste laksa premix. Of course, we buy our own shrimp, fish cake, fried beancurd and bean sprout =)

please post, if you've found a better laksa!


For curry laksa, I recommend Little Malaysia in El Monte. It's better even than the ones you find in some hawker stalls in Kuala Lumpur! (btw they add pork blood in theirs) You might also want to try the char kway teo. When the father fries it up, it is THE BEST on the planet.

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