The Park’s Finest is a down-home, Filipino influenced BBQ joint from Johneric Concordia and his longtime friends that started with community driven backyard feasts and catering gigs and culminated with a bare bones restaurant within shouting distance of the 101 freeway.
The space rests between Historic Filipinotown and downtown, alongside a Knights Inn. The Park’s Finest sports a makeshift sign and contains a few outdoor seats, but the action is indoors, which features exposed ductwork and burgundy walls lined with colorful Filipino paintings.
The menu’s focused, portion sizes are prodigious, and value’s high. Concordia and crew smoke meats with alder and pecan wood and serve them with two different sauces, a sweeter tomato based sauce with pineapple and coconut oil, and a vinegar based sauce with garlic and soy and more.
Mama Leah’s Coconut Beef features juicy shreds of rich meat that’s infused with coconut milk, onion and big chunks of garlic that finds some tangy relief from vinegar.
Mount Malindang Pork Ribs & Riblets, named for a volcano on the southern Filipino island of Mindanao, were uniformly juicy, with a peppery kick.
San Pablo, aka the City of Seven Lakes, inspired a standout pulled pork dish. Concordia smokes meat for 16 hours until it forms tender shreds. The huge bowl comes with sweet tomato based sauce and tangy vinegar based sauce.
Taal is the name of a volcano located on the Filipino island of Luzon. This was the only smoked meat that was tough, which was unfortunate, since the marinade looked tantalizing.
Ann’s Cornbread Bibingka is a riff on a sweet Filipino rice cake. The Park’s Finest version is sweet, studded with corn kernels and sugar dusted.
Ligaya Veggie Medley, named for a diving focused resort near Batangas Bay, featured a pan-finished mix of Italian squash, yellow squash and bell peppers.
To drink, choose between beer and Tang, which is bottomless, and not just for astronauts anymore.
The Park’s Finest continues to gain converts, and considering a recent “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” appearance, more and more people are bound to embrace the “backyard boogie.