Words by Edward J. Mallillin, images courtesy of Rene Emmanuel Villapando & Asian Soul Food
You eat now. Those words from your Lola take on new meaning this Sunday in Studio City at Asian Soul Food's Los Angeles Tasting Party. Owner Rene Emmanuel Villapando's family-run proprietorship brings together classic Philippine dishes, fused with Soul Food sensibilities.
In other words, it's a foodie's dream come true.
Your ridiculously low $15 tab gets you his Smothered Short Ribs, Mommies Chicken Adobo, Frost Daddy's Mac n' Cheese, LaChelle's Greens, RV's Hot Links, Sandy's Chicken Pancit, Malik's White Rice, and Vera's Chicken Curry. Bring some friends to help you finish this menu.
Growing up in Inglewood with many African American friends, Villapando recalled regular gatherings with family and neighbors. Eventually, a marriage of Soul Food and Philippine food was a natural pairing. And finally, Asian Soul Food was born.
"During childhood I grew-up very colorblind," recalled Villapando, whose parents immigrated to the United States, eventually raising him in Southern California. "As I got older, I noticed the same thing in the culinary experience. It all came together very naturally, bringing these great foods together."
Villapando hopes for his business to continue to grow in its offering of fine quality food to the community at affordable prices. His Tasting Party has garnered interest from many Asian Americans, as well as LA Weekly, and promises to be a can't-miss event for the Philippine community and food lovers in general.
The $15 admission is limited to diners who reserve their tickets by this Friday. Tickets at the door will be $25, but with the cheaper price and expected sell-out, reservations are recommended.
One of Villapando's taglines is, "Your boy can cook! Yea boyeeeeee!!!" And he's ready to prove it to the Philippine community this Sunday in Studio City. And as a Philippine American who went to college in New Orleans, I am especially looking forward to covering this event. Part two of my coverage will appear next week, if I can recover from my expected food coma...
Asian Soul Food's Los Angeles Tasting Party is this Sunday at Clear Lounge, 11916 Ventura Blvd, Studio City 91604. Tickets are $15 through this Friday, and $25 at the door. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by emailing Rene at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (818) 219.8822. For more information on Asian Soul Food or the menu for the Tasting Party, visit their FaceBook page by searching "Asian Soul Food," or go to www.asiansoulfood.com.