I must admit, it was a bit hard to wrap my head around the concept of "Filipino fusion" cuisine. The classics that I had grown up with and loved, tweaked as... fusion? I went in to dinner with my family slightly skeptical. I read the Chowhound posting and was forewarned by my uncle about what to expect. On a Sunday at 7pm, it was pretty empty - maybe 3 other parties besides us. I was disappointed to learn they don't have iced tea as a beverage. Moving right along, we ordered: Filipino Salad (grilled eggplant, okra, egg, tomato & onion with "shrimp paste"), Bangus Maki, Crispy Chicken, Crispy Pata (on the menu as "Pork Trotter", Salpicao (beef sauteed w/garlic), Inihaw na Pusit (grilled squid) and the special of the night, Kare Kare. The crispy pata was excellent. My husband loved the Bangus Maki. The Crispy Chicken and Salpicao were just so-so. Mixed feelings on the Kare Kare: my parents generation and older didn't like it. It was Fusion with a capital "F". A single large beef rib trimmed so it looked sort of like a standing rib roast, with slices of eggplant underneath, and the peanut sauce drizzled artistically around the border of the plate. The meat was not stewed as traditionally, but rather done in the oven. The older generation missed the traditional oxtail part of the stew, and missed the "stew" and saucy part of it all together. I would skip the Churros y Chocolate for dessert. They tasted like the frozen kind you buy at Costco & microwave at home. Doesn't hold a candle to Dulcinea's version in Manila. Service was just abysmal. One of my pet peeves is when the waiter pretty much has you bus your own table by constantly asking you to pass empty plates and serving dishes, instead of clearing them himself. This happened all night long. Overall I'd have to agree with the previous post - the food was good, different, and definitely worth a try. My parents said overall they preferred Tribu, but stressed it was not the same. I'll have to try it for myself to compare. I still love Gerry's Grill, which my parents consider "slightly fusion-y" but I don't... generation gap! Thanks to everybody that posted previously, this really helped to set my expectations.
615 East 3rd Avenue
San Mateo, CA