Try Rene Emmanuel Villapando's latest culinary creation and see what has everyone's stomachs wanting more

Food Coma, Courtesy of Asian Soul Food

Words & Images by Edward J. Mallillin

Seven course meal.  Yes, seven courses.  What Rene Emmanuel Villapando did to our collective (now bigger) gut was simply criminal.  But his customers didn't seem to mind, as they kept coming back for seconds.  And thirds.  And so on.  Rene Emmanuel Villapando's Asian Soul Food Tasting Party was a huge hit with a packed crowd this past month in Studio City.

For those who want hardcore delicious food, but without foodie snobbery (or high prices), Asian Soul Food is your thing.  I haven't eaten such good southern food since I was living in New Orleans, and I haven't eaten such good Philippine food since -- well, since I was at Lola's or Auntie's or Mom's.  Villapando wants you to eat good food. That's it.  Simple goal, difficult to pull-off, but Asian Soul Food does so.  Just ask any of his victims recovering from their food comas.

"Who would've known that Mac N' Cheese and adobo could taste so good together," said Miko Quisumbing, visiting from Philadelphia for the Tasting Party.  "Rene is a culinary genius!"

I would have to agree with Mr. Quisumbing.  While we both agreed that the adobo was better than anything we'd ever tasted in a restaurant, it was that soul Mac N' Cheese (among other things) that had us coming back for twelfths.  Quisumbing's favorite dish didn't even come out until after the pancit.  And chicken curry.  And rice.  Asian Soul Food kept the party, the food, and the coma coming for four hours, ending the day with short ribs and greens.  Nobody left hungry or feeling shafted.

Villapando's Asian Soul Food is a family affair, and has been slowly creating a stir among happy foodies throughout Southern California.  A visit to gives you a glance of what he offers.

Villapando makes a great first impression as well.  He was comfortable having a conversation about his food and business, but could have chatted all day about his LA Dodgers as well.  His approachability, knowledge, and passion for his Asian Soul Food are great starting points for a business that is sure to grow quickly.  Perhaps a restaurant is also in the works sometime down the road.

Asian Soul Food is available for parties and other social events in the Southern California area.  To learn more about Asian Soul Food, email Rene at, call (818) 219.8822, or simply visit Tell Rene that sent you!

Related Posts

You Eat Now! Well, Actually This Sunday: Asian Soul Food

Let's Make Chicken Adobo

Forum: What's your favorite Filipino food?