Sapaan Buat Tuan Dahnil

Namanya Dahnil Azhar Simanjuntak. Saya tidak mengenalnya. Tuan Dahnil juga tidak mengenal saya. Tapi saya merasa harus menyampaikan ini padanya. Bukan apa-apa, meski saya bukan keluarga Muhammadiyah, saya merasa cukup dekat dengan organisasi itu. Saya punya banyak sekali teman dekat di Muhammadiyah. Kaka saya ketua IMM Jawa Barat dan sekarang aktif pula di Pemuda Muhammadiyah. Saya sering mondar-mandir ke kantor PP untuk sekedar jadi mustami di acara diskusi mereka.  Sesekali menggarap proyek bersama salah satu unsur dalam Muhammadiyah. Jadi sekali lagi, saya bukan siapa-siapa di Muhammadiyah, apalah lagi dibandingkan dengan Tuan Dahnil yang ketua Pemuda Muhammadiyah. Saya hanya merasa dekat saja dengan organisasinya.

Begini, Tuan: anggap saja ini post perkenalan saya dengan anda. Saya tulis sapaan ini jauh-jauh dari Los Angeles, tempat saya sekarang mondok. Itung saja ini perhatian saya sama anda. Kalau saya kasih perhatian kan artinya saya sebenarnya naksir anda, Tuan. he he…

Persoalan saya sama Tuan sederhana: sebagai ketua Pemuda Muhammadiyah, menurut saya Tuan mestinya lebih berhati-hati dalam menggunakan fasilitas sosial media. Saya sempat ikut kicauan anda di Twitter. Terus karena muak, terus terang, saya tak lagi ikuti kicauan anda. Saya bukan tipe Tweeterian yang baik. Kalau ada yang menyebalkan, daripada berdebat dengan menggunakan sepenggal kalimat, saya lebih baik diam atau kabur dari lini masa kicauan sang burung yang tidak saya sukai. Juga saya bukan seleb Tweet. Apalah saya mendebat anda, Tuan. 

Kicauan anda belakangan terkait kasus Mako Brimob Depok, membuat saya benar-benar kecewa pada Tuan. Juga sebagai orang yang merasa dekat dengan Muhammadiayah, saya merasa malu. Ingat, ini perasaan saya saja, saya kira. Saya sebenarnya tidak berhak malu atas nama Muhammadiyah, karena saya kan hanya remah rengginang di dasar ‘toples kaleng’ Muhammadiyah.

Meski saya sadar dalam tubuh Muhammadiyah memang banyak unsur ‘kanan-keras’, seperti Tofa Lemon. Saya tidak merasa muak kalau Tofa Lemon buat ulah dan cari sensasi. Itu memang kelasnya. Saya merasa kelas anda ini, Tuan, bukan di kelas Tofa Lembon. Itulah kenapa saya merasa jengah ketika anda memposisikan diri seperti Tofa Lemon. Anda turun kelas, Tuan!

Tweet anda tentang Mako Brimob sungguh menunjukkan anda ini punya potensi jadi radikal—atau memang anda radikal pada dasarnya. Untung saja anda aktif di Muhammadiyah, jadi anda cukup terkerangkeng ke-radikalannya. Tweet anda yang malah bawa-bawa Ahok dalam urusan terorisme juga menurut saya cukup membawa anda turun kelas pada derajat Lemonian. Alih-alih mengutuk serangan, Tuan Dahnial malah bercanda dan bilang ISIS itu hanya semacam konspirasi, tipikal argumentasi Lemonian. 

Memang anda juga berkicau tentang simpati pada korban dan lain-lain. Tapi itu terjadi mungkin setelah Tuan tahu para korban itu digorok, disiksa dengan sangat biadab.

Sudah, saya tidak mau berpanjang bicara Tweet anda, Tuan Dahnil. Saya hanya mau bilang, Tuan ini ketua organisasi besar. Tugas Tuan menjaga muru’ah dan marwah organisasi. Jalan Tuan masih panjang. Saya faham Tuan memang harus terus mencari momentum, tapi carilah momentum dengan cara yang elegan. Sekali lagi, ini pesan sebelum saya tutup dengan titik terakhir: jangan turunkan diri anda pada derajat Lemonian. 

Wasalam dari emperan Kampus Bruin.
Saya Zezen Zaenal Mutaqin, bukan siapa-siapa 🙂

Indonesian Food in LA

Well, Indonesian food, as a matter of fact, is less known to the culinary lovers. It is unlike Japanese, Korean, even Thai food where you may see it in every corner of Los Angeles. But, this definitely not because it is less tastier or less delicious. Remember, long time ago during colonization, Europeans were looking for an archipelago where all the spices came from. The islands were in the East Indies which later became Indonesia. Indonesian foods are colorful in its taste because of the spices they used. But that also probably the reason why they are hardly found here: the ingredients are too difficult to find and too special.

However, if you want to taste Indonesian food, there are several Indonesian restaurants around LA. They are not as authentic as the real Indonesian food in its origin, but not bad either. These restaurants have interpreted the food to make it more sensible and fit with the western appetite.  They also provide the food within the limit of the rarity of authentic ingredients.

Simpang Asia, I would say, is the best Indonesian restaurant so far. It is at the National Blvd, not too far from UCLA Campus. If my friend ask me a recommendation of Indonesian culinary, I will first recommend them Simpang Asia (means ‘The Intersection of Asia). At Simpang you can also find basic Indonesian spices and groceries.

If you live near UCLA Campus or around Westwood, there is another restaurant called Ramayani. This is the second in the list according to my taste judgement. While at Simpang you can just point to the menu and you will have a relatively good food, at Ramayani I would suggest you to avoid Gado-gado, which is one of the most famous Indonesian Street food. Simpang has much tastier Gado-Gado.

A new restaurant around Palms Blvd and Motor Ave, not far from Simpang Asia, called Mr. Sate opened last year. I never go there. But according to several friends who went there, Mr. Sate signature food is obviously sate. Sate is another special meet barbecue commonly found everywhere in Indonesia. It made of chicken, lamb or beef, mix with sweet soy bean sauces or peanut sauces. For sure you can also find other list of food on the menu.

What to choose? Well, if you want me to recommend you something, for the beginner I would suggest Gado-gado, Mpek-Mpek and Nasi Padang or Nasi Rames if you are going to go to Simpang. Choose Mpek-mpek is for the appetizer.  It is a fried fish cake with a special hot sweet sauce made of ebi (dried shrimp). Originally from Palembang of South Sumatra, Mpek-Mpek is now a common street food in Indonesia. Simpang’s Mpek-mpek is delicious, even my kids love it so much. He picks only that menu if we go there.  Make sure to ask the low level of spicy sauce if you do not like a spicy sauce. They quite hot!

Gado-Gado is the main menu, so the Nasi Padang and Nasi Rames. Gado-Gado is basically an Indonesian salad made of every vegetable available in the kitchen. It mixed with tempeh (fermented soy bean), tofu, and the cracker on the top of that. Simpang uses different set of vegetable simply because the original vegetables that are normally use in Gado-Gado are unavailable here. But the overall taste is still very good.

Nasi Padang’s speciality is because of the Rendang. CNN voted it in 2011 as the most delicious food in the world. But I would like to warn you that non of Indonesian restaurant here in LA provide an authentic Rendang. To make an authentic Rendang you need special ingredients like numeric leave, galangal and many others–even I do not know it. Also, to cook Rendang properly, it normally takes up to 8 hours! Yes, Rendang is a slowly cooked beef with special-magical ingredient and caramelized coconut milk, originally from the West Sumatra (Padang). Indonesian restaurant here, I suspect, use instant Rendang paste.

Other menu that you can try: Soto Ayam (Chicken Soto), Gulai Kambing (Lamb curry-like dish) and Sate. Also don’t forget the special famous Mi Goreng (fried noodle) and Nasi Goreng (fried rice) if they have it on their menu.

Now, grab your car and go. Enjoy it!