I think Filipino food was meant to be in my life. My first friend was a half Filipino girl whose soul is all Filipino because that is the only cuisine we ever ate together. We haven't seen each other in years but because I am now in a relationship with someone who is half Filipino, I have been reunited once again with my beloved cuisine. Filipino food is my version of comfort food. It's food that is often cooked by large families with aunts, moms and sisters who know that food will always bring people together. It reminds me of family. Here are my favorite two Filipino restaurants.
1. Manila Social Club
The roasted vegetable paella ($12) is out of this world amazing. The rice is cooked with saffron, tomatoes are stewed just enough so that it is not soggy and the chefs at Manila are very generous with the portion of chanterelles (which will make you forget you're eating a vegetarian dish). This dish was a highlight for me.
The torta talong ($12) is an eggplant based omelette with garlic rice and tomatoes. Ask for some hot sauce and you've got the ultimate comfort food. I love the addition of the eggplant with the omelette because it makes the dish hearty and of course delicious.
Maharlika has been around for a while and knows how to cook Filipino food. My favorite dish at Maharlika is their goat curry which happened to be a special on the night I was dining. The goat was cooked without bones and stewed in a tomato based broth. The garlic bread was a great spoon substitute for picking up all the flavors of the broth. If this dish is not offered the day/night you stop by, get the fried chicken and ube waffle (my second favorite). Ube waffle drizzled in honey with perfectly battered fried chicken is almost as good as their goat curry.
Maharlika offers an extensive brunch and dinner menu with great prices. My goat curry was $22 and fried chicken with ube waffle is $21.