Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pork Adobo at L.A. Rose Cafe

I had some business in Koreatown today, (by Wilshire and Normandie).  It was around 11:00 a.m. and it's time for lunch.  So I decided to go North a few miles, in the fringes of Hollywood, just before Little Armenia, where I know there's a quaint Filipino cafe called L.A. Rose Cafe. Whew! Do you feel like I just took you around the world?  Where is this place?  Welcome to Los Angeles, where you have a diverse mix of cultures and enclaves.  

Although I know how to make Adobo, I thought I'd order it today because I want to judge a dish based on a staple that I know very well.  I ordered pork adobo (also available in chicken) which came with rice and sauteed veggies for $5.95 which is on their lunch special.  The main ingredients of adobo is garlic, soy sauce and vinegar.  I tried the sauce first as it is, and it was too sour for me.  There was too much vinegar in it I thought.  Maybe I was expecting it to taste like my own adobo, that I was taken aback a little when I got the sour flavor.  So I gave it some time, and it slowly grew on me.  The garlic flavor was not too strong, albeit topped with crispy golden fried garlic bits.  Needless to say, I finished my meal, and the taste of adobo lingered in my mouth.

Adobo is like fried chicken.  You can make it many different ways, and it still tastes good.  It tasted different from my own version, but overall it was good.  L.A. Rose Cafe serves classic adobo that is a little on the vinegar side, but it will remind you of home.  The sauteed veggies were lightly sauteed thus, the veggies are crisp and fresh.  I should come back to try their other dishes, and hope to give them another review.  The cafe is very cozy, tiny, and charming.  My favorite spot is by the window on the corner where there's a lamp and reading material.  Yes, it feels like you are in someone's living room.  The owner Lemuel Balagot is very friendly and attentive to his guests.  If you are having a bad day, come to this place and have a chat with Lemuel, and you will easily forget your troubles.  If only I live close by, this would be my hangout.  On a scale of one to five spoons, I will give it 3 spoons. -GG-

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