Gotham has never harbored more than three or four Indonesian restaurants at any given time, making it one of our rarest cuisines. While most have been Javanese, a year ago Upi Jaya opened on a forlorn stretch of Woodside Avenue, slinging the cuisine of Padang—Sumatra's third-largest city. Now, in an embarrassment of riches, two smaller and cheaper cafés have opened on a single block of Whitney Avenue. My posse and I peered into the steamed-up windows of both on a recent frigid afternoon and chose Minangasli. The name refers to a matrilineal tribe indigenous to western Sumatra, a jungle wonderland of waterfalls, water buffalo, and rare orchids. The menu proudly trumpets the name of its matronly chef, Nani Tanzil, who is likely to grin at you over the high counter as you enter, while several cooks preside over woks behind her in... More >>>