As far as I know this is the first and only Filipino place in Berkeley. I think the nexus of Filipino Cuisine is in Vallejo, I've never been. There is a Filipino place in the Pacific East Mall in Richmond, but I've only gawked at it. Disclaimer: I know very little about Filipino food.
They've only been open a few days. It was formerly a place called Elephant (I think), hence the huge Ganesh (the elephant god) that adorns one wall. They have a lunch buffet, but we went for dinner. There are a few sidewalk tables.
Very much a family operation (Mom is the cook). Low-key, inexpensive. The dishes are $6 to $7. The two of us had three dishes the pork adobo, pancit, and fried tilapia. The pancit (noodles) was rather plain. The adobo was very good, with five huge chunks of tender pork spareribs ("adobo" is a traditional dish, with a mixture of soy and vinegar as the main seasonings, also available with chicken). The tilapia was very nicely fried, moist, tasty.
If you are a vegetarian, or even if you crave some vegetable items, you are out of luck here.
We shared a flan for dessert. It was quite good. Not like other flans I've had. Two slices of a rather firm custard in a caramel sauce. The custard was made of eggs and condensed milk.
Corkage is zero (they are applying for a liquor license).
www.kawayanfilipinocuisine.com (but the website is not active as of this posting).
2134 Oxford Street
Berkeley CA 94704
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