After an abrupt closure back in August, Pondok Kaki Lima, Duarte’s pop-up Indonesian food fest, is back. The mini-bazaar sets up shop in the parking lot of the Duarte Inn every Saturday, an amazingly unassuming location fitting for a city where the freeways end and the mountains begin. Roughly a half-dozen vendors cook at Pondok Kaki Lima, each usually specializing in a few specific Indonesian dishes, though there’s also plenty of overlap between the stalls. There are multiple renditions of pastels (empanada-like turnovers filled with bean thread noodles, hard-boiled egg, carrots, peas and chicken) and combo plates like nasi bungkus, but it’s best to make a beeline for Ambrosius, the apparent “champ” of pork sate. On the last drizzly Saturday, Ambrosius was the only one manning a barbecue, each rack packed to capacity with the skewers. And his sate plate (accompanied above by the compressed rice cakes known as lontongI) bore the best of the barbecue–meat over a flame is as basic as it gets, but Ambrosius’ skewers are as good as they get.
Pondok Kaki Lima, behind the Duarte Inn, 1200 Huntington Dr, Duarte. Every Saturday 10am-2pm.