Manila Groove - Tustin
A few things happened to Manila Groove since I visited last.
First, about three months ago, Gustavo Arellano tipped readers about the little-known Tustin eatery and its constantly updated website menu in his This-Hole-in-the-Wall-Life column.
Second, they've expanded by taking over the store next door, effectively doubling the space with new tables and chairs. And when I say "new", I mean it -- the place was nothing more than a take-out counter before. Now, there's framed art, posters, and hanging plants. Though, sadly, no big wooden spoon and fork.
The third, and perhaps most awesome development, is that as of January, their Filipino breakfasts ($5.99 with a free can of soda or coffee) are cooked up all day long from 7:30 in the morning to 9 at night! Now, traditional silogs -- the gut-busting, cholesterol-spiked meals of fried rice, eggs, and Filipino breakfast meats -- can also be had for dinner.
No longer will your craving for longanisa and eggs be encumbered by what time you wake up. And let's face it, the last thing you want to do when you get out of bed hungry is to cook longanisa yourself. The sausage is notoriously time-consuming and messy to fry.
Instead, just mosey into Manila Groove (in your pajamas if necessary) where the plump, fatty, juicy, shiny, porky links will be waiting.
Three come to a meal, which, because of their size (I'll spare you the obvious jokes), is somewhat overkill. Two fresh eggs are cooked over-easy and plopped over yellow rice into which the yolk will eventually burst and bleed. Diced tomatoes and liberal squirts of Datu Puti vinegar are required side items -- the antidotes to the overwhelming doses of protein and fat.
But it's not just about the longanisa. Manila Groove's silog's include other worthy meats like tapa -- the unholy union of beef jerky and a Jelly-Belly jelly bean. It's as black as licorice, dense, crumbly, chewy, swimming in grease, and so sugary it'll put you that much closer to diabetes.
Healthier-minded folks should opt for the baby bangus instead. In it you will get a fried fish, splayed open, head intact, skin attached, with a flaky flesh that has the yummy tang of yogurt.
Balk if you must that fish is served for breakfast. But who are you kidding? By the time you'll get to Manila Groove, it'll be well past noon...and you still wouldn't have taken a shower.
678 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
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