Well folks, in spite of my best intentions to continue on my previous teaser post with a timely follow-up, more information, and answers to your questions, it turns out that I got sidetracked. Rolling hundreds of lumpia by hand, cooking hundreds of chicken thighs and legs for adobo, breaking down and butchering sides of beef and slabs of pork belly, and prepping who-knows-how-many-pounds of green papaya and carrots for homemade achara, takes up just a bit of time.
Actually, all of that takes up a GINORMOUS amount of time.
What's with all the cooking, you may be asking?
This new venture? It's called The Manila Machine: Los Angeles' First Filipino Food Truck. Crazy right?
For my international readers who might not be very familiar with L.A.'s mobile food culture, let's just say that serving different types of food out of a wandering restaurant on wheels is kind of a big deal. And for my local readers... Yup, another food truck.
But this food truck is different! Different, I say!
Along with my business partner, fellow Fil-Am, and fellow food blogger Nastassia Johnson (of Let Me Eat Cake fame) we are THE FIRST truck to bring Filipino food to the masses of Southern California. And besides being THE FIRST FILIPINO FOOD TRUCK in SoCal, Nastassia and I are also the first food bloggers to enter the crowded arena of mobile eateries.
So why did we choose to serve Filipino food? If you're a regular Burnt Lumpia reader, my reasons for doing anything with Filipino food should go without saying. But I'll say them anyway. I've spent the past few years researching, cooking, and writing about the food of my culture. It's been my mission to promote Filipino culture and cuisine via this blog in my own quirky ways. And although I'm not a professional chef, Filipino food is something I'm passionately passionate about (that's right, passionately passionate).
And besides my own personal and cultural reasons for starting a Filipino Food truck, you might have heard that Filipino food is hard to come by in Los Angeles. Thus, The Manila Machine is simply our vehicle (pun?) for making Filipino cuisine more accessible to the good people of L.A. and beyond.
With a menu that features adobo, pan de sal sliders, lumpia, and turon (among other Pinoy goodies), The Manila Machine officially opened to much fanfare on June 10, 2010 at the Downtown LA Artwalk.
How did we do?
As soon as we opened our doors windows, a huge line was already forming down the street. And then...
...we sold out of EVERYTHING in the span of a few hours on our opening night.
Hungry Angelenos line up for a taste of Filipino Food
from The Manila Machine
Pork Belly and Pineapple Adobo,
and Beef Tapa Pan de Sal slider with housemade achara
Since The Manila Machine's debut, support from Los Angelenos in general, and from the Filipino community specifically, has been fantastic. Team Manila Machine has been working so hard for the past few months to bring this project to fruition--I personally haven't slept through the night in weeks, and I've lost 10 pounds--but all the hard work has been worth it. Nothing made us happier than seeing our community come out in droves to support us. Thank you Los Angeles!
Bleary-eyed, but happy to serve you.
The Manila Machine's mission is to introduce the masses to the wonderful flavors of the Philippines, while also offering SoCal's large Filipino-American community a taste from home. We realize that we won't be able to please everyone, but we are confident we can get people excited for Filipino food. Don't you think it's about time for our culture and cuisine to get some shine?
If you haven't already, please support The Manila Machine and the Rise of Filipino Food (Even if you live nowhere near L.A.!)
- Follow The Manila Machine on twitter (@manilamachine).
- Like The Manila Machine on Facebook.
- Tell your friends and fam about us. Scream it out your windows!
- And heck, follow good ol' BurntLumpia on Twitter and Facebook.
And we're continuing to bring new Filipino dishes to the masses. In fact, just a couple days ago, we introduced our new Original Manila Dip Slider--a pan de sal slider filled with shredded chicken adobo and caramelized onions and accompanied with an adobo dipping sauce (think French Dip but with 100% Pinoy ingredients). Thankfully, our lunch crowd went crazy for the Original Manila Dip, so be on the lookout for that on our regular menu. Also expect more specials down the road (sisig anyone? silog, hello?)
Lastly, I wanted to take some time to thank some old friends and new acquaintances who have reached out to me in the past few weeks leading up to The Manila Machine's debut. Many Filipino chefs, restaurateurs, and food writers sent me some very kind words of encouragement for my latest adventure. I won't name-drop here, but I have looked up to all of you for so long and consider you all Filipino Food Gods and torch-bearers of our culture and cuisine. I will continue to lean on all of you for strength and encouragement, my Kababayans. Your advice has meant so much to me, and I hope to do you all proud.
--Maraming salamat po.