J-Pop Summit Festival, Filipino Fare, and More

Enjoy sake and so much more at the J-Pop Festival in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of J-Pop)

Enjoy sake and so much more at the J-Pop Festival in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of J-Pop)

San Francisco’s J-Pop Summit

Get your appetite ready for the second annual J-Pop Festival in San Francisco’s Japantown.

The event, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 19-20, celebrates Japanese pop culture, music, fashion, film and food. Admission is free, though some activities will require a fee.

Among the new attractions this year is sake tasting. A number of booths will be set up on Webster Street at Post St., where attendees can enjoy sake tastings and even buy bottles to take home. Admission to this area of the festival is $10 and includes samples from all the participating sake companies. ID will be checked.

If you need some food after all that sake, look no further than the “ramen street.” A half dozen ramen restaurants will set up booths on Post Street between Laguna and Buchanan streets. The ramen will be priced at $8 per serving.

A “Bites & Snacks” area will sell both sweet and savory noshes, including natto (fermented soybeans), onigiiri rice balls by Onigilly, and mochi waffles from Moffle Waffle.

Additionally, look for more than a dozen food trucks, including the Creme Brulee Cart, Bacon Bacon, and the Chairman.

Celebrate Filipino Food at Two Events

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind Filipino-Franco dinner at Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park on July 24.

Chef Brendy Monsada will be cooking up dishes influenced by his Filipino heritage. The three-course $45 prix fixe will be served family-style and include beverages.

Among the offerings will be adobong manok (chicken drumette casserole cooked in soy sauce, sugar cane vinegar and garlic); beef kalderata (slow-braised beef short ribs in a savory tomato and peanut sauce); and pritong lapu-lapu (deep-fried grouper with heirloom tomato salsa).  And yes, halo-halo, the layered dessert of fruits, crushed ice, purple ube yam and ice cream is one of the dessert options.

For reservations, call (650) 473-6543 or email: kmolloy@leftbank.com.

For more Filipino fare, mark your calendar for Aug. 30 for the first Savor Filipino at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.

The event, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., celebrates Filipino cuisine in America with plenty of food, cooking demonstrations, and cocktails with Filipino ingredients.

Enjoy an array of Filipino street food such as sisig, barbecue and even balut (the fertilized egg delicacy that may be an acquired taste for some). Additionally, there will be plenty of adobo and a celebratory roasted pig. Indulge your sweet tooth with ube donuts and frozen custard.

The event is free, but food is extra.

4505 Meats Introduces “Kettle Cooked Style” Chicharrones

If you are already a fan of Chef Ryan Farr’s unbelievably crisp pork skins known as chicharrones, wait until you see what he’s doing with them now.

Yes, frying them in lard.

Chicharrones got a whole lot more decadent. (Photo courtesy of 4505 Meats)

Chicharrones got a whole lot more decadent. (Photo courtesy of 4505 Meats)

The “Kettle Cooked” version fries the pork rinds in lard instead of rice bran oil. Not only does it lend an even lighter, crispier texture, but it also speaks to the philosophy of Farr to use the whole animal to promote sustainability.

Find 4505 Meats “Kettle Cooked Style” chicharrones at Bi-Rite Markets or order them wholesale to enjoy. A 1-ounce bag is about $4.

Winner of Last Week’s Food Gal Contest

In the most recent Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me whether you’re a fast-food fan and if so, what your weakness is. Best answer wins a $50 gift card to try Al’s Beef.

The dipped beef sandwich at Al's Beef. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The dipped beef sandwich at Al’s Beef. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Congrats to:

Todd, who wrote, “I dislike the term ‘Guilty Pleasure.’ Like disposable pop music, trashy movies, reality TV, supermarket tabloids—we shouldn’t feel shame about something that gives us pleasure. Even 35 years later, after eating at great restaurants like Delfina and Manresa, I still hold a weakness for Taco Bravo in Campbell. If you like it, own it!”

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