Day 237: Grilled Squid

Grilled Squid at Gerry's Grill

Grilled Squid at Gerry’s Grill

It’s been five years since I’ve been to the Philippines and one of the things I miss the most is the inahaw na pusit (grilled squid). Today, my wife and I happened to be in the Artesia area so we had an early dinner at Gerry’s Grill.

Gerry’s is known for its grilled squid and I loved it the Philippines. Their restaurant in Artesia is one of two in the U.S. (the other in Northern California) and I’ve had it bookmarked on Yelp for a while.

The interior reminded me of the Gerry’s I’d been to. We tore into the grilled squid as well as the tuna steak and wolfed down the garlic rice.

The verdict? While not exactly like the Philippines location, it’s close enough in flavor that I’ll be back soon.

I’ve also tentatively started to plan my next trip the mother land.

Day 77: Wordless Wednesday


I like the hashtag #WordlessWednesday on Google+. There are a lot of great photographers that share their pictures, which are always beautiful and inspiring.

For my #WordlessWednesday contribution tonight, I’m going with my mango empanadas. It’s the second time I’ve made them in a week, thanks again to Marvin Gapultos‘ wonderful The Adobo Road Cookbook. The photo might not be as beautiful or inspiring as others on Google+, but I’m sure it tastes better than the others.

Day 67: Seafood Sunday

Adobong Pusit

Adobong Pusit

I always use my mom’s recipe for adobo and it’s either chicken or pork. After a successful dinner last week from The Adobo Road Cookbook, though, I decided to try its recipe for adobong pusit. My wife and I love squid so cooking it adobo-style would fit right in during Seafood Sunday, which is what I decided to call today.

I’m happy to report that I’m now 2-for-2 in delicious dishes from the cookbook. Kudos to Marvin Gapultos for providing good eats that are easy to make. Although I felt there was a bit too much sauce (mom’s recipe is still the best, obviously, lest I be struck down by lightning), my wife and I were totally happy with the meal. Of course, the real test comes tomorrow, after the flavors have melded overnight. The best adobo always tastes better the next day, so I’m eagerly waiting round two of the meal.

Day 59: Pancit Molo

Pancit Molo

Pancit Molo

My first attempt at pancit molo (Filipino wonton soup) was a success, thanks my wife’s copy of The Adobo Road Cookbook by Marvin Gapultos. Hardcore food truck fans might recognize the author’s name: he was the founder of Southern California’s first Filipino food truck, The Manila Machine. For those lucky enough to have eaten there, The Manila Machine served wonderful versions of Filipino favorites like adobo, sisig, lumpia, and more. I’ll never forget their delicious sliders (on pan de sal, of course) and ube cupcakes.  Sadly, the truck is long gone, but this cookbook does have a few of its recipes; I can’t wait to make the sisig using pork belly, among dozens of others.

The recent rains put me in the mood for soup. I had planned on making sinigang na baboy, but we had it earlier in the week at one of our favorite Filipino eateries. I love my mother-in-law’s pancit molo and after a quick search in Gapultos’ cookbook, I found the recipe.

It wasn’t a difficult recipe to follow; it was labor-intensive yet strangely relaxing. In fact, I learned that making dozens and dozens of dumplings was a nice way to spend a rainy late afternoon. The soup and the dumplings were delicious and, more importantly, they passed the does-my-wife-like-it taste test. And since I used more shrimp, ginger, and patis than the recipe called for, I decided there was only one name for my version of pancit molo: Pancit YOLO.

Lots of labor required for the dumplings, but totally worth it.

Lots of labor required for the dumplings, but totally worth it.

Day 56: Healthy Hump Day

Fettucine Cauliflower Alfredo

Fettucine Cauliflower Alfredo

As much as I loved last night’s abundance of pork-based Filipino dishes, tonight my wife and I got back to our healthier eating. She made her excellent cauliflower alfredo sauce with fettucine and baked green beens. It’s a simple meal and I’ve been surprised how much I enjoy the cauliflower dishes she’s made (my other favorite being her mashed cauliflower “potatoes”). As for the greens beans, I’m a big fan of garlic and slivered almonds, which certainly weren’t lacking in this dish.

The only problem with tonight’s dinner? No leftovers.

Day 55: Family Celebration


Gaviola family favorite Salo-Salo Grill was the site of another celebration tonight. Whenever we get together here, we tend to order too much food. It’s consistently excellent Filipino food, served in abundant portions. I call it The Place Where Diets Go To Die.

Clarissa Wei, one of my favorite food bloggers, recently posted this guide to Filipino food in Los Angeles. There are  some great spots listed; I’ve been to a few of them and others were new to me. I would’ve loved to have seen Salo-Salo on there, but it’s still a solid list. Newbies to Filipino food should start with her article; better yet, I’d point them to one of the Filipino-American restaurant icons of L.A.: Bernie’s Teriyaki.

Bernie’s has been serving inexpensive plates of Filipino barbecue for decades in the same location. Yes, the name suggests Japanese food, but that taste is undeniably Filipino. In fact, I prefer Bernie’s over Grill City, which was one of the places in Wei’s article. Unlike Grill City, Bernie’s doesn’t overdo it with the barbecue sauce and glaze; it’s a more subtle taste and there’s less fat on their pork sticks, which sets them apart from most Filipino barbecue.

In my family, we’re on generation three of the Bernie’s fan club.  The menu isn’t as Filipino-heavy or authentic as Salo-Salo’s menu, but those barbecue plates are deeply satisfying and inexpensive to boot. The location is ideal during baseball season: you can pick up a plate to go before making the short trek to Dodger Stadium.