As it turns out, our visit became one food trip after another. We were stuffed full every single day from eating in different Philippine restaurants. There were a lot more good ones in the Bay Area than we were aware of in Southern California. These restaurants were not the usual cafeteria-type Pinoy eateries or grills that are the found in the LA area.
One place we went to was Patio Filipino, a fine dining restaurant featuring Filipino/Spanish cuisine, where we were brought by Kuya's high school friend, Ferdie. We were eight (five adults and three children), and we ordered around eight dishes. I ate a big plate of garlic rice to go with the Bangus Sisig, Crispy Tilapia, and Coco Loco Shrimp (their version of Ginataang Hipon which went perfectly with the garlic rice).
Coco Loco Shrimp
We were already bursting at the seams after the main course, but we still found some room for dessert (probably in our lungs). We had chocolate cake a la mode; a mango dessert which was made of sylvannas, ice cream, and mango balls in syrup; and a dessert served in buko which had beans and jello (a distant relative of halo-halo). We left this restaurant stuffed virtually to our noses.
I liked Patio Filipino because it was similar to my favorite Filipino fusion restaurants back home. (I always order Crispy Tilapia in a restaurant called Timpla at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting complex where I work.) Fine dining Filipino restaurants are a recent phenomenon in the Philippines, and I'm glad to see it has come to the US (at least California) as well. This is the kind of restaurant that you could take your international friends to, so that they can discover for themselves that there is so much more to Philippine cuisine than adobo, pansit, lumpia, and bagoong.
770 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066