Platito is dishing out Filipino soul food one small plate at a time. The restaurant takes over the two storey Baldwin Village address that was formerly Reforma , and the shortlived Agave y Aguacate before that.
Partners Jonathan Mirasol, Aaron Calupig and Derek Linay have kept the dangling crystal light fixtures and reconfigured the existing furniture, but have personalized the space with a new paint job and a sprawling mural that spans the height of both floors.
At the bar, tropical cocktails include a lip puckering calamansi shandy ($7), sangria ($7/glass, $55/pitcher) and a rum-spiked mango slushi dubbed jungle juice ($7). The selection of beer ($7) includes a few local options plus stubby bottles of San Miguel.
The menu from chef Karlo Cunanan (ex- Momofuku ) has hearty entrees with steamed rice at lunch, followed by a collection of sharable tapas-style dishes in the evening.
The weekend brunch features traditional dishes like tapsilog ($15) and longsilog ($13) with fried eggs while a delicious mash-up of cultures appears in the form of ube waffles topped with crispy fried chicken.
But Saturday night might just be the best time to go. The plan is to offer brunch all day and into the night, meaning after 5 p.m. you'll be able to order brunch plates along with selections off the pulutan (apps) menu.
The BBQ pork skewers ($7) in a sweet glaze are an an easy entry point for those uninitiated with Filipino cuisine - these are very easy to like brochettes topped with pickled red onion and scallions.
The chili dusted pork sisig ($15) is a sizzling skillet of deep-fried pork bits drizzled with garlic aioli and topped with a raw egg. The dish features bits of pig's head and there's a delightful variety of textures; meaty jowls, slightly chewy ears and crispy, luscious bits of collagen.
The incredibly moist chicken inasal ($12) has a sweet marinade that's caramelized over the grill and then topped with achara, a tangy pickled papaya, and finished with a bright orange annatto drizzle. This dish comes with a side of rice making it suitable as a solo entree.
The kare kare ($15), a.k.a the curry curry, is rich stewed beef with fried eggplant, long beans, bok choy and crunchy fried okra.
Ube waffles ($12) reappear on the dessert menu. This time they're topped with a generous scoop of sweet purple yam ice cream decorated with macapuno, shredded young coconut and Stik-O brand wafers.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.