Friday, April 20, 2007

Fiesta Sa Barrio

Wanting to add to my list of recommended Filipino restaurants, I decided to check out Fiesta Sa Barrio for dinner one night with friends to see if it would make the cut. Unfortunately, it didn't.

It started off pretty good. Entering the restaurant, you could see that there was an attempt to give it some style. There were actually napkins and place settings at each of the tables, which is more formal than I've ever seen at any other Filipino restaurant I've visited before. Expectations rose, but alas appearances were deceiving.

For our meal, we shared six dishes. The first was oysters with veggies in a spicy vinegar, which suited my Filipino sour/tangy palate and was tasty; however, spicy, this vinegar wasn't. So that's already a tiny ding.

I also think the garlic that was missing in our garlic rice must have been hanging out with the missing vinegar somewhere in the restaurant, because our "garlic rice" certainly didn't taste that garlicky to me.

Than the Crispy Pata came to the table. Deep-fried pigs knuckles that are definitely not good for your arteries but good for your soul. Ok, maybe, I'm being melodramatic, but some of you may know what I mean. The skin of that Crispy Pata should have been more golden brown, but from the dark brown tone, it was easy to see that it was fried for too long. The meat that should have been moist and tender was not, still good, but not great.

I think in general that there was a heavy hand in the kitchen when it came to frying because our lumpia shanghai was also over-fried. The meat inside was more dry than it should have been.

Our soup which came more towards the end of the meal came in a cute little silver pot with handles that it was cooked in. The sinigang broth itself was wonderful, but you definitely have to hunt for your veggies. There were hardly any in the soup. Vegetables aren't that expensive. I don't see why they should be so limited. As for the pork that came with the sinigang, they were all basically chunks of fat, which probably contributed to the soup's great flavor, but some actual meat would have been appreciated.

Our last dish which was snow peas sauteed with pork and shrimp is hardly even worth mentioning. That's how boring it was. As for dessert, I opted for Halo-Halo which normally comes in a sundae type glass, but instead was served in a way I've never seen before in a Filipino restaurant. It was in a bowl. This way of serving the shaved ice seemed more similar to a Thai or Southeast Asian shaved ice dessert, than the Filipino version. I still liked it, but it just wasn't the same.

Overall, I thought the food was okay, and maybe, with corrections to the dishes I mentioned above, okay could be good, even great, but for now, I wouldn't consider Fiesta Sa Barrio a destination Filipino restaurant just yet.

To see pics, go to:

Fiesta Sa Barrio
4411 Eagle Rock Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 256-4580

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