Ilocanos launch Good Belly and Shrimp in LA

It’s been more than three years since I moved from Silver Lake to a more low-key and quiet neighborhood in Los Angeles. Though miles away from downtown LA, the excellent and convenient public transportation (Metro train and bus system) has made life easier for commuters like me if I had to be in the inner city. Technically, the San Fernando Valley or The Valley is still Los Angeles. I love my own little corner in the valley and at the moment reorganizing my future with family who have recently joined me. My workplace is just a bus ride away from my home. I have friends who I get to see often, like today, I went to the opening of Good Belly and Shrimp at the Northridge Fashion Center Farmers Market. Carmelo Bonoan (son of my Laoagueño friend Odette) and his wife Richie Chua Bonoan, who just graduated from culinary school, have just activated their Filipino-Hawaiian food project in the most culturally diverse city in the world. Food was good! In fact, we had a repeat order of lechon belly, not to mention a double order of grilled shrimps with Tajin-dusted fresh pineapples. A great start for the couple, they actually ran out of rice to accompany the last serving of lechon by closing time. Congrats, Melo and Richie!

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The Northridge Farmers Market on Tampa Ave. (near the cinemas) is open 5-9PM on Wednesday nights.

Contact Good Belly and Shrimp for inquiries 818 271 1460.

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Food Lust: James Burn’s bellychon

bellychon

Have you been caught in a situation where you want to eat a photo? Seducing me to no end is this rolled whole pork belly glutted with the most essential Ilocano aromatic bulbs and secret indigenous spices. To the eye, moist and sweet fragrant meat encased in teary crackled skin. Yet to be available in Laoag next week (?!)… I died a little inside.

I’m excited to see and taste more of culinary school grad James’s burning ambition.

bellychon 2

It’s the perfect feast for my coming birthday! Can’t wait really!

It’s not too expensive like you think. For inquiries, PM James Burn here.

Photos courtesy of James Burn
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Discovering the cooking of Lidamero’s (Jamiroze)

Sinanglao-Paksiw

I have to confess to you, dear readers, I’ve been a biased blogger all these years. Out of my loyalty to the late Nana Carmen Dawang of Dawang’s Place, a favorite carinderia in Ilocos, I turned a blind eye to the other uber popular Lidamero’s on the same side of the road.

I met Jasper Pacapac Dawang of the Dawang’s clan and serendipity made its way. There is always a right time for anything.

After meeting with him at Lidamero’s (I paid my own food, btw), I can slap my own face with my own lechon lard-laden hand. Lidamero’s, or Jamiroze now, is a class of its own.

Turo-Turo

The Lidamero’s turo-turo (point-point) counter is fillled with very Ilocano dishes like monggo a ginisa, presko a baka (beef kilawen), igado, nateng, dinardaraan with crispy bagbagis, lechon and so much more. Tinuno a paltat (grilled catfish) and sinanglao (or paksiw) are the other bestsellers.

Their not too oily sinanglao is a different version, a very good version with very tender, tasty chunky beef. “Napalukneng a justo,” without the aid of pressure cooker, you’ll just know if you love eating.

I never knew there’s an everyday lechon place in town. That’s a big regret. I like Lidamero’s way of presenting the lechon which is cooked by them. The skin’s color and texture made me drool at first sight. The homemade Ilocano liver sauce and spoonful of lasona stuffing from the very roast pig are wonderful additions.

LechonLechonSinanglaoSinanglaoPreskoPresko a baka.

Jasper’s mom, Milagros, a native of Abra province, is hands-on with the eatery. She’s there Mondays to Sundays. Dad Rommel is the Dawang. Their son says, “Lidamero’s is all about the merging of two worlds — the Abreño and Ilocano cultures. He adds, “We build good relations with our customers and try our best to be the best in Laoag.” Lidamero’s is located near the Laoag-San Nicolas boundary.

Lidamero'sTinuno nga PaltatGrilled catfish.JasperJamiroze

I recommend Lidamero’s or Jamiroze for authentic Ilocano food. It’s been around for 19 years. You won’t be disappointed. I love their budget-friendly prices too.

Lidamero’s (Jamiroze Eatery) National Highway, Nangalisan-A, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014