FOB Kitchen is nestled right off of Telegraph Ave. a couple of blocks from campus. The quaint restaurant provides a warm and laid back environment. The bar welcomes you with a strong waft of Filipino seasoning lingering behind. The smells remind me of warm summer days with my 50 cousins running and playing while my aunts laugh around a huge table covered in banana leaves. 

Although the dishes have the same names as the ones you would eat at a huge Filipino family gathering, there is a slightly modern take on each plate. The orders can also be eaten in the traditional family style or individually, letting people eat as much variety as they want or simply inhale the plate all to themselves. 


Snacks, or the appetizers. If you are in the mood for something classic, greasy, and crunchy, Lechon Kawali is the only way to be satisfied. This irresistible fried pork belly snack comes with pickled red onions to keep your palate refreshed. If, however, you want to snack on something light and fresh, there is the Ensalada Talong. This eggplant salad is an unconventional take on salad with jicama, tomato, sea bean, cilantro, scallion, and rice cracker. But all the ingredients join together nicely with all the different textures. These items bring a mix of familiarity and new and exciting flavors on the snacks that are so hard to put down.


Vegetables. Everyone's least favorite part, but it wouldn't be Filipino unless you prepped, seasoned, and cooked the veggies. The staple Pancit Sotanghon can be found here, and everything is made the same way your mom would prepare it, except it is surprisingly entirely vegan!


The main course, or how many Filipino view it, is what you normally eat with rice. This is where all those familiar names can be seen: Singang, Adobo, Inasal, and Bistek. The Bistek is a hefty ribeye coated in the traditional soy and lemon sauce. However, the meal leaves you feeling a bit healthier than normal because the meat is not drenched in sauce— you can still enjoy that natural taste of the grass-fed cut. The flavors that flood in your mouth remind you of the simpler times, but the sophistication from the meat pokes at a new but exciting reality. 


Desserts, the happy ending. There is a small variety of desserts provided, all full of the produce that could be find on your lolo's farm back in the Philippines: Turon, Suman, and Affogato. All of these bring warm feelings to the stomach and heart. The Turon is full of banana, jackfruit, and natural caramels while being topped with a Macapuno ice cream that creates a nice light balance. The crunch from the fried wrapper hits all the right notes, and that's all you really need.

Overall, FOB Kitchen is the perfect place to remember the foods you ate at home, but not replace it. This restaurant is not a Filipino fusion, however, it works to bring a new and refreshing taste to the foods that you loved growing up—without the excess grease. It's a great place to go when you feel like treating yourself; the prices are not super budget friendly for college students, but after that tough midterm you should reward yourself! The friendly atmosphere is inviting and is a great place to introduce the unfamiliar and familiar taste buds to Filipino food.

#SpoonTip: FOB Kitchen offers an entirely different menu for brunch on weekends. And yes, it is full of eggs, spam, and morning cocktails!