Monday, November 13, 2006

Alejandro's Filipino Restaurant in Glassell Park - CLOSED

Being Filipino, I'm very picky about Filipino food. At every Filipino restaurant I go to, the litmus test for me is that after having eaten there, I ask myself, is the food there as good as Mom's cooking. It doesn't even matter to me whether it's a particular dish that my Mom has made or not. It's more about the food matching up to my Mom's high standard of cooking.

So far, only one restaurant has come close to that high standard and it was a Filipino restaurant in Artesia called Magic Wok, but last month, I experienced with my dining group a restaurant that I feel surpasses Magic Wok. That restaurant is Alejandro's in the Glassell Park area.

The food there was outstanding and every thing we ordered, I could easily see on my Mom's dining table ready for us to devour. There was the spicy goat stew. The goat meat was tender and didn't have any the normally gamey taste associated with it. The addition of the olives to this dish also gave it a nice hit of saltiness The creamy coconut sauce with the Shrimp Hipon was so good, I could have easily drank it by the gallon.

And than there was the crispy pata. Now my Mom has never deep fried pig knuckles, but if she did, it would have been like the one at Alejandro's. The dish arrived with a knife sticking straight out, which left no room for doubt that this dish wasn't for the faint of heart. Not very many people are into pork skin, but growing up eating crispy pata, I completely appreciated and savored the crispy, crunchy golden skin and of course, the moist meat underneath the skin was also something I enjoyed completely.

Other standouts of the meal happened before the meal when many of us ordered a variety of unsusual smoothies and iced drinks. There was the pandan and green mango smoothie, which had pistachio notes as well as having a hint of tartness. I had the sweet yellow corn milkshake, which to many in the group, was a bit odd, but after letting some sample it, I got a few converts.

For dessert, we all had suman, which is a sweetened rice wrapped in banana leaves. Alejandro's actually cut the suman in squares, topped with fried coconut as well as a piece of leche plan (e.g. flan). It was an awesome dessert and served in a way that I've never experienced before, so it was definitely a first.

Overall, Alejandro's is definitely a find and a restaurant that I will certainly return to over and over again and I hope that many of you will decide to check it out as well.

To see pics, go to:

4126 Verdugo Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90065

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