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New School Filipino Battleground

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SoCal aficionados of Filipino cuisine such as myself are insanely jealous over the Bay Area's new slew of Filipino Fusion restaurants. And while LA certainly has more than its share of top notch, skilled Pinoys/Pinays with "names", none -- since Rod Aglibot shuttered YI CUISINE and moved to Seattle -- feature Filipino cuisine exclusively. We don't have anywhere near an answer to the Big Apple's CENDRILLON, KUMA INN or even DRAGONFLY. What we have is an abundance of old school traditional grills, cafes and turo-turo joints.

Thus it was a revelation when my friend hustled me away from my business at a recent film festival in the City to San Mateo and a place called BISTRO LUNETA. Without going into too much detail, the presentation, the look, the vibe, the plating and yes, the taste, were all a generation above what we have in LA. I was very impressed. While I engulfed the last remnants of what had to have been the prettiest kare-kare I'd ever seen, she informed me that there were others as well. Unfortunately, the balance of my trip was heavy on business and time only allowed me to sample POLENG LOUNGE's cocktails but, none of its menu. I didn't make it out to TRIBU GRILL at all.

So, Bay Area Chow-brethren, I'm eager to hear you opine on which of the New School Filipino places made the best impression on your palates.

Thank you in advance for your assistance, you lucky Niner-Giants fans, you.

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