Planning a roadtrip is always fun, especially when it's a first time trip. I've been to LA before but not a "foodie" roadtrip. The idea behind the trip started at the 2nd Filipino Dishcrawl @ the late Bistro Luneta which unfortunately closed a few months ago. "Let's go on a roadtrip!" One of the many ideas that I come up up with that usually fizzles. But this time, I had a few motivated food lovers that helped get the ball rolling. So we all decided that March would be the month that we travel to Socal for a small adventure that would end up becoming a fun and inspirational mini-vacay for us all.
|Filipino Dishcrawl #2 @ Bistro Luneta|
My foodie and twitter veterans Arnold of inuyaki.com and Jo of jobostonisafoodie.blogspot.com helped plan our roadmap with the help of LA foodie Remil aka pinoy panda. We were in for 3 days of eating and tasting a variety of LA's finest street food and fantastic restaurants. I was really excited to finally try The Manilla Machine and Tapa Boy and the rest of the constantly growing LA food truck scene.
My co-pilot for the drive down to Socal was my friend and fellow #longanisasummit member, Albert aka @filipeanut. We left the Bay around 4am and with beef jerky, energy drinks, and a bag of sun chips. With little rest, I began the drive on 101, 152 and 5.....well I thought I was on 5. After realizing that I passed up 5, we ended up taking 99 to the Grapevine and we were back on track. We actually got to LA without hitting any major traffic.
Let the eating begin! We were starving but we had to save a little for the food truck festival later in the evening. We checked out yelp for a breakfast spot and 26 Beach Restaurant in Venice came highly recommended! We pulled up to location and spotted a calamasi tree in front. Good sign for me...you know if I needed a little citrus added to my meal. The second thing we noticed was a poster with a huge behemoth of a burger on it. "Best Burger in LA." Ok so which one of us was going going to tackle the monster? Albert had his stomach set on the KATSU Burger that featured angus beef, crab salad, wasabi aoili, ginger, avocado,and home made brioche bun. Albert shared the burger with us and the flavors were amazing. Imagine the eating the juiciest burger combined with a fresh California roll.
I was surprised to see a tone of low carb breakfast options in their menu: The Royals - Eggs over brown rice Hawaiian style. Check out their brunch menu for details. Overall goodness and this LA resto is a must for Venice residents and visitors like me.
|Corned Beef Royal|
But my main reason for this mini adventure was to finally try the delicious food from The Manila Machine and Tapa Boy. The Manila Machine is the 1st Filipino food truck in LA and is a collaboration of food bloggers Marvin of Burnt Lumpia and Nastassia of Let Me Eat Cake. Their menu combines classic filipino dishes with creative street food execution. My favorites had to be the Sliders. We had the longanisa and tocino versions that were sandwiched between pan de sal bread. I had to break my no pan de sal, bread diet for this trip for the sake of blogging. Yes I blame blogging for the added trips to the gym. These bad boys were simply delish. I believe that the most important part of Filipino cooking is flavor. It doesn't matter how it presented, served or even imagined...it comes down to flavors. The Manila Machine stays true to the traditional flavors but still manages to push new Filipino cuisine without abandoning what makes our food unique. The Manila Machine offers a large selection of food options for you. Here's the MENU
|Our taste tester|
|#Bay2LA foodies with Marvin and Nastassia|
|Trying the chicken sisig|
|Lawrence of Tapa Boy with the Bay2LA crew|
|Korean Fried Chicken|
|Foodies admiring the Truffle Fries|
|The Grill em All crew with the Bay2LA foodies|
So the next morning we ventured out to Lake Balboa in the San Fernando Valley. Abby of Pleasure Palette helped organize the bbq that was catered by LA's own Parks Finest BBQ. The BBQ is their own take on traditional BBQ with Filipino flavors have been passed down from Johneric Concordia's family. The spread was amazing with Mt. Malindang Pork Rack of Ribs, rib tips, Taal Manok (Chicken), Real Ribeye Roast.I love BBQ so I had no complaints about anything. My favorite had to be the Taal Chicken which was really finger lickin' good. No need for sauce here! (I believe that bbq shouldn't need any added sauce)
|Park's finest bbq sauce|
There was hella food to eat but Caroline of http://whenadobometfeijoada.blogspot.com/ treated us to a few of her delicious deserts. Her leche flan and Halo Halo Tres Leches Cake with Ube Cream were the perfect compliment for our pinoy style bbq. I knew I should have but I definitely went back for seconds of her Tres leches cake. I can't wait to try her sugar-free creations soon.
|Halo Halo Tres Leches with Ube cream|
|A few of the #Bay2LA BBQ crew|
|#Bay2LA crew at Fraiche Culver City|
So what was I searching for on this trip? I'm really not sure. who knows why I got into blogging, twitter, and the rest of the social media craze. Was it food that brought me into it? It could be my passion for Pilipino culture. But one thing is for certain, we are all connected in someway. From hobbies, careers, religion, culture, music, passions there is always going to be a commonality. But here, food has brought a small but few of us together. We all love food, especially Filipino food and the people who are bringing us these delicious reminders of our culture. I don't mind the label of "filipino foodie", in fact I embrace it. My love for other foods is there, but I do eat Filipino food 90% of the time. Some day, Filipino food will become more recognized and appreciated. For now, I can can live with the fact that other foodies exist with the same passion for Filipino food as me and we can enjoy it together. It was great meeting Remil, Abby, Emilie, Caroline, Malou, Nerissas and the rest of the LA foodies. Till the next time we meet......and I will be back down in LA soon!
For more coverage of the Bay2LA trip search the #Bay2LA on Twitter or go to http://jobostonisafoodie.blogspot.com, http://cogitationproject.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/bay2la/ for their recaps.
If you are interested in joining us for the #LA2Bay foodie roadtrip follow us @
Abby - @pleasurepalate
Albert - @filipeanut
Arnold - @inuyaki
Caroline - @carolineadobo
Emilie - @nuts4pilinuts
Fred - @mrfredbriones
Keaton - @phatpanda650
Malou - @malou_nievera
Reese - @nerissas
Remil - @LIMER35
Steve - @asianclarkkent
Tina - @CeeEsBee