The 20th annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) took place in San Pedro’s Pt. Fermin Park on September 10 and 11, overlooking the Pacific. Organizers had a full slate of performers, including a kali martial arts demo, ifugao folk dancing and a performance by Filipina star Lea Salonga. The grassy clifftop park also accommodated a number of food vendors, highlighted by Neri’s Curbside Cravings, a truck that spun off from Neri’s brick-and-mortar restaurant, which is midway between Koreatown and MacArthur Park. The truck’s run by Neri’s niece Rhea Espino. Her best sellers are a pair of hamburgers – Tapa (beef) and Tocino (pork) – but my favorite dish was Crispy Dinuguan.
The menu advertised this porcine dish as a “Filipino favorite delicacy, cooked with a twist of crisp.” That translated as a Styrofoam container filled with a nearly-black slurry of rich pig’s blood, tangy vinegar and sweet onion. They bypassed organ meats like intestine – which are apparently regular dinuguan ingredients – in favor of cubes of crispy fried pork belly. The container clearly wouldn’t have won a sash in a beauty pageant, but it was plenty flavorful when spooned over white rice.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.