Monday, July 26, 2010

Manila Machine Tasting 7/17/10

A few months ago, I received an email from my friend Nastassia of Let Me Eat Cake saying she had put in notice at her job and she was going to start a Filipino food truck. I was so excited for her. One of my good friends from college comes from a huge Filipino family and I always love going to their home to load up on goodies like pancit, adobo, and of course lumpia. Unfortunately, it's a little hard for me to chase down food trucks so I was happy that Abby of Pleasure Palate invited me to a special tasting of all the truck's goodness.

The Manila Machine

Nastassia and Marvin

Our first course was tapsilog which was served with garlic fried rice and a fried egg. I always prefer savory breakfasts and this was no exception. Plus, a dash of Filipino hot sauce gave this a nice heat that had nothing to do with the 95 degree temperature outside.


Next we had lumpiang shanghai and chicken adobo. To me, lumpia is one of the best foods ever. I could eat it all day every day. The Manila Machine's lumpia is nice and crispy on the outside and full of pork greatness on the inside. I loved it. Nastassia's partner is Marvin of Burnt Lumpia. He explained that there are many, many versions of adobo and this is their take. I happened to think it was just the right blend of vinegar and spices.

Chicken Adobo and Lumpiang Shanghai

Longganisa is a type of sausage that Nastassia and Marvin put into a pan de sal bun and top with arugula, onions, and mango jam. It's sweet, salty, and fresh all at the same time. I didn't get a picture of it though.

To cleanse our palates, and as a nice birthday surprise for me, Nastassia treated us all to popsicles. The cool and creamy mango popsicle was perfect on that very hot day.

Mango Popsicle

My favorite dish of the day was the sisig. It's pork cheeks marinated in calamansi and served over rice. It was sprinkled with chicharones and with a spritz of lime juice, I was in pork cheek heaven.


I consider myself to be a slightly adventurous eater, but I've never really wrapped my head around Spam. However, it was on the menu so spam on. The Manila Machine takes a chunk of spam, sears it, then tops it with a fried egg on a pan de sal roll with banana ketchup. It's that great combo of sweet and salty and I actually liked it even though it was a little difficult to eat with the egg sliding around.

Spam Slider

We had to leave early because I am a gal on the go lately, but Nastassia quickly whipped up some turon for my sister and I and gave us our ube cupcakes to go. The turon is basically a banana spring roll and topped with a caramel sauce. This sweet treat would go well with vanilla ice cream. The ube cupcake is pretty to look at and tastes even better. Love the coconut frosting on top!  Unfortunately, since we left early, we missed the adobo glazed chicken wings, but I hear they were stellar.


Ube Cupcake

It was totally worth it to brave the hot, hot heat and try the delicious food the Manila Machine has to offer.  If you're in Los Angeles, I highly recommend tracking them down.

The Manila Machine Website
Follow them on Twitter @ManilaMachine

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Erica said...

That is so awesome that she is chasing her dreams! All of the food looks just perfect. Love the fried egg on rice. Mango popsicles sound like great summer treats as well. How fun

shaz said...

Wow, what a great tasting. Are these food trucks an LA concept? Very neat! That turon looks fantastic, as does the cupcake. Everything sounds fab actually.

Maria said...

Lucky!! Looks like a fun tasting!

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic! I'm seriously bummed that food carts aren't as popular in Boston! I think it would be so fun to start one, but I have no idea what I'd serve!


Olga @ MangoTomato said...

omfg! the food looks amazing! and they have several mango dishes? So wish they could fedex some of the food to me ;)

Joy said...

I have been wanting to go out there just to get to the truck. It is such a great idea. Next time I'm in california, I am going to find that truck :D

Joanne said...

Ooo that looks like one awesome food truck...better than the crap we have around here!

vanillasugarblog said...

oh good for your friend for doing that. that is a small dream of mine to have a food truck as well. not on the cape though, but back in cali. you could be my driver? and taste tester?
food looks heavenly--congrats to your friend; what a giant step.

Diana said...

Yay! So proud of Nastassia! Everything looks fabulous! I would certainly brave the heat for some pork cheeks and ube cupcake goodness!

Kristen said...

Yummy - how lucky for you to get to experience this!

Fresh Local and Best said...

You guys have the BEST street trucks there in LA! The food here looks amazing!

M. said...

how fun! everything looks fantastic!

Memória said...

Oh, I'm so happy for her!! I wish I had the resources to just go for my dream! Wow. So inspirational. The dishes all look fantastic, especially thanks to your fantastic camera skills ;). Whenever I move back to LA, I will check this place out.

P.S. It was nice to see a cameo of your hand LOL!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Oh, duh! I just pieced together that you were the one who had the birthday during the tasting! I didn't hear your name; all I heard was that there was a birthday, so I just sang along. =)

My sister and I were the ones melting from the heat and cowering beneath the shade... and were also afraid of missing our flight. ;)

angela@spinachtiger said...

I love Natassia. Good for her. The food looks so good, and I'm sorry I didn't get to do more in Los Angeles when I was there.

The Food Librarian said...

Yuuuuuuummmmy! I haven't had a chance to chase down the truck yet but I know what I'm going to eat! All of it! And Esi, amazing photos!!!

Jenn said...

I glad that people are being exposed to some form of Philippine cuisine. I really want to try it out especially since I LOVE sisig!!!! :)