Have you ever had a dear friend or that special someone who's incorrigibly lame in multiple aspects and yet you just can't quit them? You're well aware of all their shortcomings, such as their questionable hygiene and abusive sense of humor, but you still love them and keep reminding yourself of their other good qualities. I know it doesn't sound so wise, but that's exactly the nature of my relationship with this restaurant.
Indo Cafe is located in Old Sacramento, a tourist trap frequented mostly by happy-go-lucky sightseers who'd likely prefer spending their vacation money at more festive places like the Murder-Mystery Dinner Theater or Joe's Crab Shack. One has to wonder why they would run an Indonesian restaurant here rather than in midtown where adventurous foodies abound or on Stockton Boulevard renowned among locals for its Asian food scene. It seems like business suicide and yet Indo Cafe has survived for nearly a decade.
From the exterior, it looks more like a sad little convenience store than a mom-and-pop eatery. The inside isn't any more cheerful. A few tables line up along a wall with very little space in-between. When all tables are occupied, diners will have no choice but to sit literally back to back, hearing every bit of one another's conversation. On top of the claustrophobia-inducing atmosphere, it also has this faint smell of a musty garage. Outdoor seating is available, but it comes with a partial view of the not-so-pretty public commodes.
Having said all that, I would love to return to Indo Cafe and have another nice homey meal there. I will endure the parking nightmare in Old Sacramento (which often triggers my murderous urge) just to eat their fluffy potato croquettes. I will overlook the commode view and turn a "blind nose" on the musty smell because the flavor of their beef rendang is incredibly spot-on. I will order their tempeh goreng again even though tempeh is a yucky soy product I normally hate with an unfathomable passion. And every time I'm there, I will keep pestering the friendly owner with the question, "Why don't you move to midtown?"