Roy Choi (Chef, TV Personality, and Kogi BBQ Food Truck Guru) granted a Memorial Day weekend takeover of his restaurant Pot to Seattle-based Food and Sh*t for its first-ever Filipino food pop-up dinner series in Los Angeles. Having dined there for the first night of the dinner, let’s just say that it was a rather large Filipino party of sorts with Filipino food, a hungry crowd, and a mix of hip hop music that made Roy Choi’s Pot, the most happening place to be on a Saturday night.
I am not sure what led to the collaboration of Roy Choi and his team with Food and Sh*t, but I do know that it was a good collaboration of kindred spirits with a common interest in food and music.
The dinner pop-up seemingly attracted the kindred spirits of food crazed Millennial and Gen X diners as well, who, like me, were alerted of the event via social media.
It was a mix crowd of many ethnic diversities for dinner, which I thought was a very good representation of LA’s diversity. However, what seemed to be lacking were local Filipinos who showed interest in social media feeds, but didn’t show up (at least during the dinner time that I was there).
I felt that Rapper Prometheus Brown aka George Quibuyen and his wife Chera Amalag, through their dinner pop-up series Food and Sh*t, presented a rather unique take on Filipino food. All of the familiar sour and salty flavors in Philippine cuisine were present in each dish yet the food was different for the overall flavors were not too sharp.
The Grilled Squid (Kinilaw Na Pusit) was my all-time favorite dish of the evening. The vinaigrette that tenderly coated the grilled squid was quite tangy and a bit spicy, but in a good way for one’s palate.
The Bagoong Fried Rice was magnificent; one of the best ones that I’ve had and (ironically) better than how I make it at home. I was explaining to my friends Abby and Francis that the hard part in cooking with Bagoong (pronounced ba-go-ong) is controlling the saltiness. Bagoong is technically a condiment that adds a concentrated fishy, shrimpy taste to a Filipino dish, It’s also super salty, because it’s prepared that way.
The focal point of the Filipino pop-up dinner was the Old School Sinigang (Tamarind soup) prepared with marinated ribeye steak, glass noodles, tamarind, daikon, and tomatoes.
The thinly slice ribeye steak and cellophane noodles were unusual ingredients for a Filipino Sinigang soup (pronounced see-nee-ga-ang). It was funny how the presentation of this soup looked like hell, but it tasted very good. The traditional version has a more crystal clear broth and is stewed with pork, fish, or shrimp.
Chera Amalag’s Hood Famous Ube Cheesecake was a fantastic dessert to end a evening of Filipino dinner bliss. It was nice to have dined at Roy Choi’s Pot restaurant for the first-ever Filipino dinner pop-up. Seattle-based Food and Sh*t and Hood Famous Bakeshop are now on my Foodie list of places to visit in the Seattle area. It sure was nice to have them drop by Los Angeles to take over Pot.
Considering what happened during the Memorial Day weekend, I wonder if Roy Choi would be interested in diversifying the predominantly Korean fusion menu at Pot to introduce HIS take on Filipino food. I am curious to know if more Filipino dinner pop-ups will also reappear at Pot. Who knows, but the thought is there. The kind gesture in helping recognize and having the new wave of Filipino cuisine through a pop-up diner series was a good thing.