Eat Play Move: LA’s Inaugural Filipino Food Festival is a Showcase of Flavor
Los Angeles is home to the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines. What better reason do you need to create a Filipino Food Festival? Thus, Eat Play Move was brought into fruition and Angelinos of all creeds were welcome to experience a food culture at its peak popularity; especially with all the gorgeous purple Ube, Pandan and Adobo pics seen on all platforms of social media.
Eat Play Move was held at Eagle Rock Plaza on a sweltering Saturday afternoon. The “Eat” in Eat Play Move refers to the dizzying array of amazing vendors providing a taste of the Philippines. The “Play” refers to the Play stage which featured local talent and the “Move” portion consisted of fun fitness related challenges.
Primarily there to “Eat”, our tasting started with dessert at BOLO, Hong Kong Hot Toasted Butter Buns used to make some of the most sought after ice cream sandwiches in Southern California.
The Ube Ice Cream Sando was a sight to behold. Steaming butter buns with Ube ice cream garnished with colorful confetti sprinkles was one of the most shared on social media platforms for the weekend.
The Pineapple Bolo Bun with Vanilla ice cream and topped with pineapple jam, egg roll confetti and sweet milk drizzle which provided a vibrancy and sweetness that melded perfectly with the freshly baked butter buns.
The group was in need of some savory grub after the amazing desserts we just devoured. Luckily there was a quick solution. Johnny Pacific, definitely LA’s favorite empanada and your place to get good eats on your street. Inspired by the delicious street food vendors of the Pacific Islands and Latin America, Johnny Pacific stands true to their mission, to make amazing empanadas. The empanadas we sampled delivered maximum flavor in four different varieties. We sampled the Spinach and Cheese, Beef, Kalua Pork, or Chicken al Pastor Empanadas each with their own unique dipping sauce. These empanadas from Johnny Pacific left me jaw-dropped and satisfied.
Craving more sweets, we sprinted over towards Ninong’s Bakery and Café Food Stand. Opened in 2008, Ninong’s is family owned and operated with a goal of sharing Filipino food and culture with the masses. With that in mind, it was essential to try their Ube and Buko Pandan Pancakes.
These pancakes were not only awesome eye candy but the aromas steaming off these bad boys were almost too much to handle. The Ube Pancakes were just the right amount of sweet, and the Buko Pandan drizzled over freshly prepared Buttermilk Pancakes was perfectly executed and enjoyed.
The fellows at Mid East Tacos were hard at work providing a fusion of Middle East flavors with the construct of Mexican burritos and tacos. Fortunately, we were able to sample the Chicken and Beef Kabob Burritos before they sold out later in the evening.
Wrapped in a Middle Eastern pita style bread, the burrito held up to the steaming hot proteins which were marinated in secret family recipes causing an aromatic appeal that created a quiet anticipation.
The star of the event seemed to be Paella Paella, a food stand that is equally fun to watch as it is to eat. The folks at Paella Paella pride themselves in serving authentic Spanish paellas using high quality ingredients.
In the past, their paella was enjoyed at large family gatherings. After experiencing their Adobo and Valenciana paellas, I knew now was as good of a time to jump on the Paella Paella bandwagon and join their extended family.
By this point, we decided to throw up the white flag and admit defeat. Eat Move Play was quite the experience that brought new flavors and textures to those not familiar with Filipino food. Although it quite a hot day, most would consider the 25K in attendance a major success. Based on that, the second annual Eat Play Move in 2018 is sure to be a must attend foodie fest for all Angelinos alike.