Tonight a small group of us tried out the Indo Cafe in Old Sacramento. It's an Indonesian spot that received high praise a few months ago from Han Lukito, and that has been on my list to try ever since. The place is a rather incongruous presence in the touristy white bread environs of Old Sac. The restaurant interior looks like a take-out dive, with only 2 or 3 formica tables. Outside, they have a number of nice outdoor wooden tables with bench seats. It seems to be more of a lunch spot, as we were the only patrons on a warm evening (and the place closed at 7:30).
As for the food --- we stuck religiously to Han's suggestions, ordering all of them(see link below to his post). I would definitely recommend this place -- it seemed to be authentic, and the quality of the food was very good.
My personal favorite was the soup, Gulai Kambing, a comforting coconut curry soup with lamb, that had just a little bit of heat. I definitely will be back for that, especially if/when the weather ever gets chilly. I also really liked the appetizer risoles -- described on the menu as having a "cream of chicken" filling -- it's like a soft croquette but is served with a tangy peanut sauce.
My least favorite was probably the satay (we had pork and chicken), which I thought was tough and rubbery. Perhaps it had been cooked much earlier in the day (I expect that lunchtime is their rush time) so maybe it's great at lunch. Beef rendang was similarly overcooked, but the spicy, nutty sauce was good enough that I wanted to eat lots of it anyway.
The dessert drinks (one with a green gelatin-like globs in it, and the other with coconut milk, brown sugar syrup, etc.) were refreshing and a nice palate cleanser after the spicy meal.
Service from the Indonesian owners was fantastically friendly. If you go, be sure to ask for the authentic Indonesian menu (it's blue and it's a separate untranslated page from what they generally will give you). Or, just use Han's recommendations.
A great find -- I will be back.
1100 Front Street