Indo is an Indonesian fusion restaurant in Palo Alto on a quiet stretch of El Camino with a low key storefront. The head chef is an Indonesian. The space used to be the Straits Cafe before it became Indo a few years ago. This year they expanded their hours to cover lunch. Here’s a recent meal:
The server recommended the chicken satay in the apps section. Thinking chicken satay might be too ‘mainstream’ we went with the app sampler. Turned out the chicken satay was indeed the best tasting item in the sampler, with the samosa second. The sampler had:
Chicken satay. Chicken was tender and well marinated, coated with a generous coating of savory peanut sauce.
The samosa contained vegetables with curry mixed in. The chili sambal added a punch.
Poh pia, which was spring rolls with vegetable, shrimp and egg with a spicy hoisin sauce. Tuna tartare came on cucumber and had roes on top. These two items seemed more Vietnamese and Japanese than Indonesian. The flavors for both seemed a little bland.
Lamb korma- braised lamb shank, carrots, potatoes, coriander cumin curry- slow cooked to fall-off-the-bone tender, with the cumin curry supplying a Southeast Asian slant.
Garlic noodles- egg noodles, sliced shitake, tomatoes chunks, basil with chicken. Good wok ‘breath’ on the noodles.
Lemongrass mint drink- did not detect much lemongrass flavor= the drink was quite watery.
Comp’ed a roti prata when they asked and we answered that we were there for the first time. I’d say the curry was aromatic and went well with the roti, though the price seemed relatively high for the dish.
Interior. There is an outside shaded garden.
Solid meal. Not everything was a hit, but the hits were quite delicious.
We hadn’t been earlier due to concerns that Indo is just another restaurant in Palo Alto that looks better than it tastes and costs much more than what the taste warrants. But the cooking for the hits ordered was quite nice and the meal was not Palo Alto-expensive. Probably a restaurant where one has to pick out the solid dishes from the ‘trying too hard’ dishes. We’ll be back.