Elevated Filipino Cuisine Pops Up in LA
The InterContinental Century City is holding a special pop-up giving diners the chance to enjoy authentic Filipino cuisine in the hotel’s beautiful and intimate outdoor garden courtyard.KAIN, meaning “to eat” in Tagalog, is a special pop-up that will be held every Thursday throughout the month of August for guests to enjoy elevated Filipino food created by chef Brian Bellicourt. Inspired by his mother’s cooking, chef Brian has curated a menu with his modern-day take on traditional Filipino dishes. The $55 a person menu includes snacks for the table, a choice of appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert for the table.
“This came to fruition because I really wanted to showcase food I grew up with. A lot of my food you’ll see on this menu is a direct reflection of what I ate as a kid,” said chef Brian.
So what’s on the menu? My meal began with some finger snacks while deciding between a San Miguel Pale Pilsen or the specialty cocktail that was created just for the KAIN pop-up: a . The cocktail is made with pandan leaf extract and calamansi and vanilla simple syrup. It was one of the most refreshing drinks. I highly recommend it.
The snacks I munched on included adobo peanuts, which are roasted and mixed with vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic and crispy pig ears. Chef Brian created his version of walkman aka Filipino crispy pig ears, which is usually a common sight to find on the streets of the Philippines. Although it’s usually served on a skewer and grilled, he decided to put his own spin on the street food and dehydrate it like chicharrón to make it easier to eat!
- pork belly sisig toast with liver pâté
- tuna kilawin with taro chips
- ube gnocchi
- calamansi gin lemonade with pandan
- palabok with annatto pork ragu, soft boiled egg.
- chicharrón-crusted sea bass
- spicy beef cheek kaldereta
- chicken adobo with creamy ube mashed potatoes
- calamansi almond sans rival
- cornbread bibingka
Chef Brian explained the inspiration behind his sisig toast, “The goal is create a more balanced dish. The pork belly is typically fatty and sisig is acidic so adding a pâté gives the dish a mineral flavor, making it a more balanced dish. Normally you eat it with rice. The entire KAIN menu omits rice. I did it on purpose because I really wanted all the dishes to be stars instead of having rice carry it.”
And Chef Brian was correct and spot-on. Typical Filipino food heavily features rice with the protein. Having no rice throughout the meal really enabled the dishes to shine on their own. His chicken adobo had more of a sweetness than the traditional twist. Using the fresh taro chips turned it into a Filipino ceviche, which made it fun to eat. There was also a spicy kick at the end of each adobo bite that I really enjoyed.
Ube is a purple sweet yam that is heavily used in Filipino cuisine. Typically used in desserts, chef Brian was inspired by his two nationalities to create a ube gnocchi that was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. This was such a fun dish.
As for entrées, there are a total of four choices to choose from. Pancit palabok are noodles were introduced into the Philippines by early Chinese Filipino settlers. Chef Brian’s spaghetti uses annatto pork ragu, charred shrimp, crispy pork skin, scallions, and is topped with a soft boiled egg. There’s also a chicharrón-crusted sea bass with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, soy broth, peanut emulsion, eggplant, and long beans. Chef Brian serves his version with sautéed ong choy, vinegar soy-garlic glaze, over a bed of the creamiest ube mashed potatoes. There’s also a choice of spicy beef cheek kaldereta served with pea puree, charred baby carrots, confit fingerling potatoes, and a tomato demi-glace.
Then there’s a choice for a dessert for the table. The cornbread bibingka was absolutely delectable. It is made with Blueberry Lemon Thyme Compote. There’s also a Calamansi Almond Sans Rival or Cornbread Bibingka.
Reservations are limited. You can find out more by visiting the website here http://www.marilosangeles.com/kain-pop-up-restaurant.aspx or RSVPing to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name, party size, date, and preferred time, pop-up begins August 9, 2018. Dinner is served from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The KAIN pop-up is located inside the Mari restaurant in the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, California 90067.