Admittedly, I don’t go out to Filipino restaurants often – why would you when you could make it at home – but more importantly, have my dad make these delicious dishes? Often when we do venture out to try different restaurants we are sorely disappointed. That’s why when Diana had suggested we check out La Meza Grill – even with the fact it’s located all the way in Delta – I was intrigued and up for the challenge.
This small space in a strip mall has an interesting entrance – you go through the Filipino market (Season’s Market) to get into the actual restaurant. The restaurant itself is smaller, with 10-12 tables – but busy! The servers are polite and our food came out relatively fast.
To start us off, we ordered Fresh Lumpia ($5.95). This is a fresh roll made with garlic sauce and peanuts with vegetables (carrots, onion, garlic, green lettuce). My dad makes this at home and I have to say this one is pretty comparable in terms of flavour/taste. It’s a big roll and perfect to share. It’s not too salty and the gravy is great.
We also had two skewers: BBQ Pork and BBQ Chicken ($3.75 each). The glaze is salty and sweet and complimented both meats. I found the pork to be more tender than the chicken, but both were still enjoyable. One skewer could probably feed 2-3 people.
Brian ordered Longsilog ($8.95) – he’s been craving it for a long time as I normally used to make it all the time before we had a baby. It’s basically a mashup of longanisa (Filipino sweet pork sausages), egg and garlic fried rice It’s a great portion size and the longanisa is less on the sweet side, more on the salty side.
We also ordered Chicken Chicharon Sisig, Lechon Kawali, Arroz Caldo, Seafood Palabok, Spaghetti, Laing and Garlic Rice.
The Chicken Chicharon Sisig ($9.95) is made with diced chicken, chicken chicharon in soy and calamansi, served on a hot plate with a freshly cracked egg. The crispiness from the chicken and the blended salty and tart flavours made this dish very enjoyable.
We ordered Lechon Kawali ($11.50) – deep fried pork belly served with housemade sarsa. The portion size was ok, the deep fried pork belly was very crisp and a bit on the dry side. The sauce on the side helped it a bit – its a nice blend of slightly sour and salty but hearty and meaty.
Up next was the Arroz Caldo ($6.95) – chicken congee. My dad also makes this dish at home and by far my favourite kind of congee. Filipino congee is bursting with flavour – from the garlic, onion and oil. It’s made with chicken and topped with green onions. I can’t have congee any other way. I really enjoyed the congee here.
We had to order Seafood Palabok ($9.95). My dad makes this dish at home as well during special occasions, it’s rice noodles with a seafood sauce and a variety of different toppings. Here, the palabok felt a bit underwhelming (but not as bad as other restaurants I’ve been to which are much worse). The palabok noodles are a bit overcooked. The pork rinds and crispy garlic give it a nice taste. I think Seafood Palabok should always have some sort of actual seafood in it (shrimp maybe?), I would pay a bit more for this palabok to have some seafood in it.
Filipino Spaghetti ($8.95) is a little different than what you might be used to – we like our spaghetti sweet…..and with hot dogs. Yup. I’ve never personally been a fan of hot dogs in my spaghetti growing up, but my mom used to sweeten our spaghetti as well when she made it for us. This spaghetti is delicious – the noodles are made just right, there’s ton of ground beef and pork and hot dogs and the sprinkling of cheese on the top is perfect.
For vegetables, we ordered the Laing ($8.95) – it’s taro leaves, minced pork in a spicy coconut milk sauce. My parents were never a big fan of making this dish at home and I’m wondering if it’s just because its from a region they never grew up in? Not too sure about this.
On a side note, I was surprised to see Ginataan Sitaw at Kalabasa on the vegetables menu – I barely see this when I go to Filipino restaurants, so I definitely want to give it a try next time I’m there.
There is so much on the menu that I do want to try including the tortang talong, pritong tilapia, pancit bihon, sinigang, crispy pata, bopis, bicol express, crispy chicken, kare kare, chicken inasal, dinakdakan, tokwa’t baboy, ukoy (just to name the entire menu haha).
Finally, we ordered a bowl of garlic rice. It is a HUGE portion especially for $5. The garlic rice is so potent and I love it – the more garlic the better.
I would definitely recommend checking out La Meza Grill – they serve up some delicious and authentic Filipino cuisine!
Check out their menu and website here: http://lamezagrill.com/menu.html