Friday, December 19, 2014

Grill City & Crispy Town - Irvine

The name Crispy Town may sound like it's inspired by the catchphrase of a certain Food Network host with spiky hair. It's not. It's Pinoy through-and-through--a turo-turo joint that caters to the best kind of food there is: the kind that's deep fried golden brown and delicious.

Everything--I mean EVERYTHING--at this food stall at the back corner of the new Seafood City in Irvine is either made of pork, deep-fried, or both. They have crispy pata here, bone-in pork hocks, that are to-go-boxes of heart-disease. They have Filipino-style fried chickens with nary a batter--which is to say they're more authentic than those sold by the bucket at the more popular Jollibee at the front of the market.

And boy, are there are egg rolls--four kinds. Chicken. Pork. A veggie that's thicker than the previous two combined. And the cigar-sized lumpia Shanghai, which are great to take to potluck parties at $20 for a 60-piece tray.

But if you can't live on fried food alone (a truer statement than you realize), you also must make a stop at Grill City where foot-long skewers of pork and chicken "barbecue" are roasted over hot grates behind a glass window. They sell 'em 4 sticks for $10, which is easily a meal for two if you have a pot of rice waiting at home.

If you must, Grill City also has chafing tables (let's call them "neighborhoods") of veggie dishes such as the lumpia sariwa, which is the anthesis of the deep fried egg rolls found at Crispy Town. Lumpia sariwa translates to "fresh egg rolls", which in this case is just the filling of cooked cabbage, carrots, tofu and other veggie matter served with a garlicky sauce.

Other "veggie" dishes like kare-kare aren't technically vegetarian as there's often always some sort of meat or pork in it. This is probably a good time to point out that in no Filipino supermarket, Seafood City included, is there ever gonna be a stall called Vegan Ville.

Grill City & Crispy Town
2180 Barranca Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606
(310) 834-9700

Eqeko Peruvian Tapas - Santa Ana


At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Dee said...

Oh my gosh, Elmo. I was just thinking of trying this place out for dinner today. Did you try the pork liempo? Did they have lechon?

At 4:12 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I saw lechon kawale at Crispy Town, but I don't recall seeing plain lechon at Grill City (since they're the ones doing the non-fried items). Good luck and tell me what you think!

At 4:13 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

And next time, I'm trying that liempo!

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Dee said...

Hey Elmo,
So I went there at 2:30 pm on 12/24 and got to the front 1 hr later with everything sold out =P

I tried again on 12/26 and missed the lechon by 1 hr (still cooking). The BBQ chicken and BBQ pork was good, pork liempo was excellent. It's like a smoky thick cut bacon without the oil, and some pieces comes with bones underneath which is great for gnawing on. I also tried the grilled squid stuffed with tomato and onion. I'm not sure if it's because of the filling but the inside of the squid is a bit slimy, almost like it's undercooked. I'll also skip the hot taho next time, the taho was a bit rough (I prefer silky, smooth texture).

At 5:50 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Hey Dee!

Thanks for the report and confirming I should try the liempo! Shame about the taho though. I love taho, and was really disappointed in Chowking's taho recently. I remember it used to be good and it's gritty, like it came from a mix (just as you described it)...too bad Grill City's sounds the same...


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