Thursday, October 31, 2013

La Mesa Grill's Baked Scallops and Mesa's Baby Squids in Olive Oil

There appears to be a spate of big-concept restaurants focusing on Filipino cuisine, a number of which do not deserve the high prices they charge. Fortunately there are some who have been consistent with their offerings, and this post is about one of them. 

I've written about La Mesa Grill before here. This is a continuation of that post, since I've realized, after reviewing my photo archives, that there were items I should have also featured. 

Let's begin with the baked scallops. The profusion of minced garlic has a tendency to overwhelm other flavors, but the delicate flavor of the scallop shone through.

La Mesa Gill is known for its pritcthon, or chopped fried suckling pig wrapped in pita wedges. I love the crunch of the cucumber slivers, the crackle of the lechon skin, and the warm umami goodness of the pork fat. Balancing all the richness is the green notes of the herbs. The dips provided a medley of flavors--garlicky, sweet or savory lechon-liver sauce. If you know me, I'm partial to the garlicky sauce.
The brown mess pictured above was the best for me. We asked that the remaining pork ribs be cooked in chili and garlic. The result was out-of-this-world good. The spices cut through the richness of the dish. It was so yummy I wanted to eat with my hands. Imagine the warmth of the fat and the goodness of meat closest to the bone.
A few months later we were at Greenbelt for dinner at Mesa, La Mesa Grill's high-end sister. What blew us away--the baby squids swimming in olive oil and garlic. It was sublime. Imagine heavenly garlicky baby squids and the warm goodness of olive oil. I'm partial to this appetizer, and so far this is the best I tasted.

La Mesa Grill
SM Mall of Asia
(+63) 02 556 0737

Mesa, Filipino Moderne
Greenbelt 5, Makati
(+63) 02 728 0886

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