LASA POP-UP! by Rona Mercado (Twitter|Instagram)In Tagalog (Filipino), LASA means taste and flavor. A growing concept of my cousins, brothers Chase and Chad Valencia, LASA pop-up restaurant is inspired by Philippine Cuisine and influenced by Southern California’s seasonal farmers’ markets. Chad and Chase both come from impressive food and beverage backgrounds. My cousins’ concept started with small and intimate summer, backyard dinners, then moved to a bi-monthly pop-up dinner, then quarterly, seasonal dinners and now a monthly dinner series which continues until October. I experienced my first LASA pop-up dinner this past Friday. It was nothing short of amazing. Delicious food and drinks, surrounded by great people in a beautiful space. Thanks to these two for showcasing Filipino inspired dishes while introducing people to our culture and building community. For more information on the next dinner, visit their website:, follow them on Instagram: @lasa_ la and search for #lasapopup. Catch you at the next one!Photo credit: Maricel Sison | @msisonChad and Chase ValenciaIMG_5636The makings of their signature “Spiked Halo-Halo” DrinkProcessed with VSCOcam with f1 preset"The Mabuhay.” Tequila. Fresh Papaya. Guyabano Juice. Calamansi Juice. Espresso Syrup.Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f3 presetSnacks: Kamote Chips. Annatto & Chive Yogurt. Savory Piaya Flatbread. Smokey Eggplant & Black Garlic Dip.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetSnacks: Blistered Green Garbonzos. Patismansi. Chili Oil.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetSmall Plate: “Pancit” Egg Noodle, Calamansi Butter, Scallions, Patis Cured Yolk.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetSmall Plate: Pan Seared Gailan. Bagoong XO. Crispy RiceProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetSmall Plate: Crispy Pig Ears. Shaved Cauliflower. Fish Sauce Vin. Herbs.Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetMains: San Miguel Steamed Manila Clams. Santa Barbara Ridgeback Shrimp. House Longanisa. Country breadProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetMains: Arroz Caldo. California Brown Rice. Ginger-Leek Broth. Poached Egg. Mustard Greens. Pickled Daikon. Garlic Chips.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetMains: Bulalo Braised Short Rib. Tokyo Turnips & Their Greens. Fingerlings. Pounded Herbs. Bone Marrow Broth.Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetSweets: Coconut Pan de Sal Bread Pudding. Ginger Whip. Honey Dates. Salty Cashews.Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetSweets: Baguio Style Taho. Silken Tofu. Tapioca Pearls. Toasted Pinipig & Macerated Strawberries.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset