Culinary riches of L.A. get richer with a new Malaysian restaurant

Toast cut in halves on a plate
Ipoh Kopitiam’s menu covers a span of Malaysian curries, soups and rice and noodle dishes — but think about starting with kaya toast and coffee.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Ipoh Kopitiam, a new Malaysian restaurant in Alhambra, is notable for its Malaysian-style white coffee, restaurant critic Bill Addison writes. The beans are “roasted in margarine with sugar and salt, a mix that’s typical for creating the distinct sweetness of white coffee.” For brewing, “a staff member pours boiling water over the grounds in a sock-shaped cloth strainer that’s suspended over a tall metal pot. A swirl of evaporated milk lightens the bubbly froth that forms at the top of a full mug.”

What to order with your coffee? Toast. Specifically, slices of toast sandwiched with coconut jam.

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Chef and co-owner Kenji Tang, who grew up in Ipoh, a city in northwestern Malaysia, has a menu that also includes Malaysian curries, soups and rice and noodle dishes, “but his attention to the sweet staples of his youth reveals the heart of his ambition.”

There are surprisingly few Malaysian restaurants in Los Angeles, Bill writes. After Ipoh Kopitiam opened in January, “word spread quickly about the new cafe and its true-minded cooking.” Read Bill’s review here.

— In case you missed it: Bill visits the latest iteration of Shunji — now on Ocean Park in Santa Monica. Shunji Nakao is “one of the quiet architects behind L.A.’s sushi culture,” Bill writes. The creations at the new location? “Amazing.”

— A new generation of Jewish deli and bagel-shop owners in Los Angeles is benefiting from new connections and a willingness to share practical information — even trade secrets, Jean Trinh reports. Short on ingredients? No problem. The top bagel machines? Best practices for lunch service? “There’s just a feeling of community and sharing, like everyone wants everybody else to do well.”

A woman sitting in a restaurant booth, holding a drink and wearing what looks like jade jewelry.
Chifa’s attractions now include edible jade jewelry.
(Samuel McGuire / Jarod Wang)

— Eagle Rock restaurant Chifa has a menu that’s known for its Chinese, Peruvian and Taiwanese offerings. Now the owners have added a new “jade” jewelry line — made from sugar. “The green bangles, pendants and bauble-y rings have that signature translucency associated with jade,” Stephanie Breijo reports, “and are so marbled with wisps of white and seafoam they might be confused for the real thing, but they’re entirely edible — cultural touchstone as candy.”

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Huntington Beach Pier dinner

The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl, presented by City National Bank, is partnering with Outstanding in the Field to serve a meal featuring sustainably caught seafood. The event will take place at 4 p.m. May 12 on the Huntington Beach Pier. Participating chefs include Brian Bornemann of Crudo e Nudo, Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Chris Tompkins of Broad Street Oyster Co. and Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections. The event benefits the Los Angeles Food Bank. Tickets are $365 and can be purchased here.

L.A. and N.Y. chefs pair for ‘Coast to Coast’ tasting event

The Los Angeles Times “Coast to Coast” tasting event, presented by City National Bank, will bring chefs from both coasts together for one night in New York to serve up some of their favorite dishes. The event, hosted by the Los Angeles Times Food Team, will take place on May 18, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St., New York.


Participating Los Angeles restaurants include Birdie G’s and Rustic Canyon (chef Jeremy Fox), Phenakite (chef Minh Phan), El Ruso and Moo’s Craft Barbecue. In addition, actor, director, comedian, winemaker and cookbook author Eric Wareheim will be serving food from his “Foodheim” cookbook, and Las Jaras Wines, from Wareheim and winemaker Joel Burt, will be poured.

Participating New York restaurants include Cervos (chef Aaron Crowder), Dame (chef Ed Szymanski), Kimika (chef Christine Lau), Lure Fishbar (chef Preston Clark), Lysee (pastry chef Eunji Lee), Mena (chef Victoria Blamey), Nami Nori (chefs Taka Sakaeda and Jihan Lee) and Semma (chef Vijay Kumar).

Tickets are $150 and can be purchased here.