Dollar Hits: Los Angeles gets a go at street food, Pinoy style

By , on August 26, 2014


Wikipedia photo of barbecued meats, Pinoy style.
Wikipedia photo of barbecued meats, Pinoy style.

LOS ANGELES—Street food, Pinoy style is finding its way into the bellies of adventurous foodies and those who have a hankering for a taste of home in LA, the City of Lights.

Social media (sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Yelp) has, of late, been abuzz with blogs and posts about Dollar Hits Pinoy Street Food, just a hop, skip and a jump from the LA Civic Center.

Trendy and decidedly way left-off center of “white people’s fare”, the street barbecue stall is located at Temple Mart, in Historic Filipinotown on Temple Street; a hub for Filipino treats-and-eats.

Those who have been speak of lines which form as early as 6pm, as stall owner-cum-street-food-hawker, Elvie Chan, cries out to those in line and passersby alike: “Malapit na! We have ‘Enrile, Betamax, Adidas, kwek-kwek, pares, goto!”

At 7 p.m., the initial fanfare is followed up with an enthused call to hit the stall: “Ready na — dollar everything!” The crowd goes just about wild.

For newbies to the Pinoy street food experience, here is a glossary of items sold by Elvie. The squeamish may balk at this list, but aficionados swear by these delectable dishes:

Enrile – head of chicken coated in tempura batter and deep fried

Betamax – grilled cubes of coagulated pig’s blood

Adidas – marinated chicken feet

Kwek-kwek – pigeon’s egg dipped in batter and deep fried

Pares –  flavored rice, beef tendon, beef fat and meat; combined and simmered with spices

Goto – rice porridge with chunks of chicken and tripe, topped with condiments such as finely chopped green onions and fried garlic bits

Balut – boiled, fertilized duck egg with a small embryo inside

Those who would like a sampling of street food, but cannot handle the extreme offerings can go for pork barbecue ala-Pinoy; marinated in and basted with sugar, garlic and soy sauce.

To complete the ambiance, music from the ManilaSound era, pioneered by the band Hotdog, blasts from speakers, to the delight of many-a-homesick customer.

The street restaurant started operations in January, under the ownership and management of sisters Elvie, Josephine and Nellie Chan, who hail from the province of  Pampanga.

“Balik sila ng balik; we’re here Thursday to Sunday from 6 to 12 midnight. Don’t come late on Sunday ‘cause the food is gone early. Sometimes tourist buses come and stop to buy on the weekends. There are customers who spend hundreds to take to potlucks. Vegas residents, people from up North like San Jose, San Francisco, from out of the country come; they who found us in Facebook,” Elvie told a reporter from TheFilAmLA / INQUIRER.

Hot and fun eats at an affordable price, in a festive atmosphere – meals just the way we Pinoys like them!