Saturday, December 11, 2010

Taste of FPAC and Manila Machine: My First Tastes of Filipino Food

The 19th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture kicked off with a reception called Taste of FPAC, which benefited FilAm Arts (The Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture)

The Taste of FPAC was held at Oinkster (the chef/owner Andre Guerrero, is a Filipino) and also featured the first Filipino truck in SoCal, Manila Machine.

Besides some pancit my aunt's friend liked to make, this is the first time I've really had a Filipino meal. Sure, I've tried a couple bites of Manila Machine's pork adobo at the LA Street Food Fest, but this time I got to taste a slew of items.

I first started with Chef Andre Guerrero's plate of Filipino food, complete with BBQed pork skewer, pork bicol express (pork, coconut milk, potato), and inihaw (roast pork).

And what's a visit to the Oinkster without their ube milkshake (made with Fosselman's ice cream)?
Having pretty much finished the entire plate, I moved on to Manila Machine's tasting. I should've known how much food was going to be involved ...

Lumpia Shanghai ($2) - seasoned pork, carrots and spicy ginger wrapped in thin eggroll skins.
Many countries have their own version of lumpia or egg rolls, but I was happy with Manila Machine's crispy lumpia with its generous stuffing of pork. Bigger fried egg rolls tend to be soggy in the middle.

Beef tapa slider ($3) - Sweet calamansi beef, achara slaw, and spicy sriracha mayo on a pan de sal roll.
I really enjoyed the filling but personally would've liked it served in a hot roll.

Sweet and crispy chicken wings.

Sisig ($5) - Spicy calamansi marinated pork cheeks topped with chicharon, served with jasmine rice.

Loved the crispy outer skin and the tender and fatty pork cheeks. I also started to notice that like Indonesian food, a large proportion of Filipino food seems to have a sweet component to it. Apparently the sisig is traditionally made with other parts of a pig's head (i.e. ears) but to make it more approachable, the Manila Machine duo decided to stick with pork cheeks.

Pork Belly Pineapple Adobo
Pork Adobo

This is a dish that even Jonathan Gold raved about at the last LA Street Food Fest, and for good reason. This is usually a special though and can't always be found on the menu. If you see it on the menu you should order it.

We finsihed with a dessert sampler of the Ube cupcake and Toron (fried banana egg roll)
Ube cupcake and toron

The crispy toron and the caramel sauce is a delightful bite, but the ube cupcake is one dessert that's gotten the bloggers raving.

The Manila Machine truck is a favorite among the blogger and twitter-sphere, and not just because it was started by two fellow bloggers, Let Me Eat Cake and Burnt Lumpia. They bring Filipino cuisine, still fairly rare in this city, to the streets and most importantly, serve good food!

The Manila Machine
(locations vary)
The Manila Machine on Urbanspoon


Kung Food Panda

I've been able to eat some good Filipino food lately. Join us next time! :)

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