Friday, July 16, 2010

Manila Machine - Chicken Adobo on Wheels

The Manila Machine, a Filipono gourmet food truck launched last month by two food bloggers, Nastassia Johnson (Let Me Eat Cake) and Marvin Gapultos (Burnt Lumpia). Their innagural service at Downtown Art Walk, sold out rapidly as demand for their Chicken Adobo and Lumpia far exceeded expectations.

The Manila Machine has been mostly on the East Side for the first weeks of its operations, so when I saw that it was stopping by the Hulu offices on Olympic near Bundy on Thursday I leaped at the chance to check it out for myself. Johnson & Gapultos were manning the truck and dishing out the food quickly to the hungry online video workers.

I got their signature Chicken Adobo (pictured below) which is chicken braised in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay and black pepper and served alongside steamed jasmine rice. ($5). The chicken was served on the bone with the skin on and was tender and flavorful. The vinegar came through as the strongest note in the taste. It was not spicy at all. The jasmine rice had a nice flavor to it.

I also got one of the sliders (pictured below), which made up half of the menu. I opted for the beef tapa pan de sal slider. It was described as sweet calamansi beef, achara slaw, and spicy sriracha mayo on a pan de sal roll. ($3). The beef is several chunks, rather than a patty. The slider was easy to eat in just a few bites and was enjoyable although not as tasty as the adobo. I think both could have used some extra hot sauce, something I will ask for next time.

The menu is pictured below and you can see their full menu on the Manila Machine website here. Apparently the truck is so successful that it has already spawned an imitator. The Manila Machine will be participating at the LA Street Food Fest at the Rose Bowl on July 24th. You can buy tickets here.

I had never had Filipino food before, so I can't speak to the authenticity of the food, but can vouch for its deliciousness. You can watch a piece that local Fox LA affiliate did about them here.

In order to find the Manila Machine, check out their website and/or follow their twitter account for the latest updates.


  1. we have some Filipino hot sauce with your name on it ;)!

  2. Thanks! Can't wait to try it. Will make a good thing even better.