Ya' know, I'm not really good at all these "blogging event" kind of things - except if Reid or Alan asks me to do something. After all, they may "know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who's related to me". Maybe I'm really a "Flakey-flake" like Professor Salt says! LOL! But when I saw the subject of the most Delicious Sarah's Dine & Dish no. 5 - Asian Persuasion, I thought I had it made. After all, a good 70% of what I post is "Asian", and even more amazing I'm Asian! And so is the Missus! But of course, I have a bad habit of not being able to follow my instructions; so I had to ask Sarah if I could do Filipino:
kirk: ANYTHING asian...though i will be honest i may have to check with some filipina friends because i've never been quite sure if filipino is asian. but no FUSION!!
(did i mention i have very strong feelings about asian "f*ew*sion"? LOL!)
Okay, I screwed up again! I ended up eating at a Filipino-Fusion Restaurant, and no it's not Yi Cuisine in LA. This one is called Ben's 1615 and is located in National City:
Located on Sweetwater Road, Ben's is owned by a local Physician and offers a variety of Filipino, and Fusion Filipino dishes. The restaurants decor is a definitive Southeast ASIAN, featuring bright colors and clean lines. There's even a "waterfall fountain". The menu is varied and divided into separate sections featuring Soups, Salads, Pasta(???), and Traditional Filipino "Favorites".
So after looking over the menu, we made our decisions, and were served these "buns", that really looked like.....well, you know!
Actually these pseudo-Pan De Sal, were nice and warm, but really just plain.
But if there was any doubt; that this was Asian food, this pretty much answered all questions for me. A true monument to all that is Asian! The great pyramid of rice:
At sunset no less! This monument to rice came as part of the Crispy Pata($13.75) that the Missus ordered. For those that don't know what Crispy Pata is; in short, it's a stewed pork leg(pata), that is then deep fried.
In this case, the "pata" is actually removed from the bone and chopped, much like lechon kawali. This actually decreased the "pork-fat" guilt. The
lechon pata was fried to a perfect crisp and was alot milder in flavor and less greasy then the "normal" pata. I really don't know if I consider it more refined, but it was definitely alot milder in flavor. A ramekin of tasty adobo-like sauce(not quite lechon sauce) was provided for dipping as well.
I ordered the Chicken Pandan($8.50):
There were three large chunks of chicken, marinated in coconut milk, lemon grass, and sesame oil, then wrapped in Pandan leaves and deep fried. The chicken was very moist, with a nice crust developed from the frying, and a very pleasant mild flavor. The only item that didn't belong was the lousy sweet chili sauce. Adding the overly sweet sauce to any of the mildly flavored courses would just mask any flavor. The Missus actually enjoyed the chicken alot more then the pata, but the tastes and presentation left us a bit intrigued, and we'll be back to try other dishes.
Some Notes: As with many "fusion" type dishes "your mileage may vary", I've heard that there are some real "clunkers" on the menu. Specifically, I've heard from more then one person that the Pasta dishes are borderline terrible. Especially the "adobo-pesto's" . I've also heard that the "bar" upstairs serves up some pretty good eats (specifically the "spicy seafood").
I don't know if this will qualify for Sarah's Dine & Dish, but I need to send some "gratitude" her way - especially for always being a good sport! LOL Sarah!
1615 Sweetwater Road
National City, CA 91950