Best On-the-Verge Ethnic Cuisine

Filipino

The Halo-Halo Special at Cebu Inasal (7537 S. Rainbow Blvd.).

The Halo-Halo Special at Cebu Inasal (7537 S. Rainbow Blvd.).

Although not as popular as Japanese, Chinese, Thai or even Vietnamese cuisine (yet), Filipino food is steadily creeping into our culinary consciousness. What Filipino fare lacks in nuance, it makes up in personality: salty, sour, pork-heavy, rich and robust. It’s a culmination of global influences, from the original Malay people who ruled the islands to later arrivals of the Chinese, Spanish and Americans. While there are plenty of fast-casual Filipino joints around the Valley, chefs such as Joe Elevado at Andrea’s have been elevating the cuisine. He’s been sneaking Pinoy dishes onto the menu, such as his jidori chicken adobo—the Philippines’ national dish, made a thousand ways for the many islands in the archipelago—and sizzling pork belly sisig, made to be eaten alongside a cold beer. We can only hope that curious eaters get a whiff of this trend and start craving this heritage cuisine on the regular.