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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Salo Salo: It Had Me at Pork Ribs, Calamari and Fresh Coconut Juice

Behold this massive platter with five different kinds of meat at Salo Salo Grill, a Filipino food joint with four locations throughout Southern California and Las Vegas (I went to the Artesia location). I was initially faced with the carnivore's dilemma, so to speak, but quickly went for the pork ribs and after trying all of the skewers, anointed the ribs my favorite. They were tender, sweet and savory all at the same time.


 The glaze on the skewers were a bit too sweet for my taste but the meat tasted good enough. The piles of pork meat that also came with the platter was on the dry side but still flavorful. But I was very focused on the ribs.

The platter also came with a side salad of tomatoes, onions and salted duck eggs that had been hard boiled. I must say I didn't care for the duck eggs too much. I think they're an acquired taste and I just didn't acquire it this time.

The sauces for the meat included a barbecue glaze and a vinegary sauce with some chilis floating but I didn't use them too much because after tasting it, I didn't think any of the meats really needed anything more as they were already packed with flavor.



Another winner was the fried calamari that we had as an appetizer. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and well seasoned. I'd definitely get that next time.

To balance out the strong flavors and sodium in the meat and fried dishes, we got the garlic fried rice, which was studded with little specks of fried garlic and tasted delightfully garlicky (although not as good as I remembered it from my first experience tasting my friend ET's leftovers she brought a while back).

The butterflied milkfish (never had milkfish) martinated in garlic vinegar was a bit on the bland side but a healthy alternative to the meatfest.

We also got the Beef Canton Guisado, which was a stir-fried noodle dish with beef, shrimp, fish balls and vegetables. It was ok but nothing special, as was the vegetable fried rice.

The lumpia sampler, similar to deep fried egg rolls with shrimp, meat and vegetables, was not my favorite. I'm not a big lumpia person.

 

Another treat was the fresh young coconut water, called buko, which hit the spot for this coconut water addict.

You can work your arms to scrape the flesh from inside the coconut too. It was ice cold and delicious.

We were all looking forward to the halo halo dessert of red beans and shaved ice with flan and ice cream but it disappointed. It wasn't all the sweet and there wasn't enough ice. What's up with that? I craved Korean patbingsu...

But I digress. I'll definitely be returning to try the lechon and other dishes recommended by the peeps who frequent this place. Just be prepared for some serious food comma.

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