Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend Brunch

Bistro Luneta's new weekend brunch offers standard American fare, like pancakes and eggs benedict, alongside Filipino faves, like longaniza and tapsilog.

This east-west juxtaposition is common to eateries in Asia. However, Luneta's kitchen composes the Filipino dishes with a contemporary flair for a seamless fit with the American selections.

The house longaniza ($10.95) is made of very lean ground pork flavored with vinegar and garlic in the sour-tasting Vigan-style, as opposed to the sweet Pampanga version.

The iconic tapsilog ($10.95) originated in the early 1970s Martial Law days as a late-night street-food for famished jeepney drivers on their way home before curfew. It later became the king of Filipino brunch. Akin to breakfast steak and eggs, Luneta serves the air-dried beef in strips, while the classic is thin flat slices. Still irresistible, though.

Bottomless mimosa ($12, a calmansi juice/orange juice/prosecco concoction) is eagerly promoted for brunch. A terrific idea! But proprietor, Jon Guanzon, needs to work harder on the wine list. He recruited a Master Sommelier, yet I find the list dull at best--filled with selections from your neighborhood Safeway. C'mon, offer us a Spanish rosé, a Grüner, definitely Vouvrays, and some Sicilian wines!

Also, I appreciate the house-baked pan de sal, but on its own not terribly exciting. A huge improvement would be a side of queso de bola, as well, and with a cup of thick tsokolaté (hot chocolate) that would be a heck of a brunch!

Bistro Luneta
615 E. Third Avenue
San Mateo, CA
Weekend Brunch:
Sat & Sun 11am-2:30pm

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