Mesa, the fine-dine branch of the La Mesa Grill group of restaurants, was having their soft opening! It was perfect since I was craving for some Filipino food. We were ushered inside to a simple but elegant table. Huge orange sofa chairs and tastefully cloistered bamboo walls with sophisticated lacquer gloss, medium sized hanging lamps, and glistening wooden tables all make for a cozy place perfect for a laidback atmosphere with friends or family to hang out with!
You have to admit, Greenbelt hardly counts as a major spot where mums and dads can take their family to. Mesa conveniently covers this crowd. This isn’t saying that a hip hopping crowd can’t hang out here. Another delectable come-on is its rates that, on average, range from PhP150 ($3.15) to P300 ($6.30)! Compared to similar restaurants in the area, MESA is a very affordable fine-dine option! Finally, there's food that is actually cheaper than Greenbelt's movie ticket (PhP170).
How was the food: except for a slightly careless dangling serving utensils as food was being served (this restaurant after all prides itself as “fine dine” – the waitress said so), every bit of what we ordered was delicious, we wanted more! It was too late when I realized I should have ordered their CrispChon (lechon – or roast pig). A one-sixth order only costs PhP799 (one whole – P3999; one half – P1999; one fourth – P1099). For the veggie crazed urbanite, there’s the steamed okra (P100), mix vegetables (P120), laing (P120), sigarilias (P180), asparagus tips (P180), pinakbet with bangus belly (P180).
It was too bad that their elephant clams (“diwal”) – lusciously photographed on their coffee-table style menu – wasn’t available. It doesn’t stand quite right to have some unavailable items on a menu – not on a soft opening, at least! Waiting service was impeccable, except that Chiqui’s brewed coffee took 35 minutes to arrive – and after 3 follow ups! They’ve forgotten thrice! Haha! But then these are birthing pains!
Well into our late lunch, there was a commotion! Kiko – the soft-spoken senator, Francis Pangilinan, made an entrance. And people were scurrying around like adrenalinized ants. The popular senator took his seat. Not a second later, a star literally descended from the heavens ! KC Concepcion - with her manager Shirley Kwan - sat at the table next to her stepdad! I tried not to look, but Chiqui was obviously impressed. She gushed, “KC is really beautiful!” I turned directly to my right, where KC was seated. And I just couldn’t help but admire! I sighed then vigorously sliced through my salivatory caramelized garlic pork. I relished on such fantastic atmosphere with a dear friend, a luminous movie star in my midst, and more importantly, delicious food that allowed me to shop elsewhere afterwards.
Funny! I was just at the La Mesa Grill-Trinoma, several days ago (their adobo flakes is to-die for). I think I deserve a frequent visitor discount from La Mesa Grill! Hah! Senator Kiko is part owner of the La Mesa Grill group of restaurants. So I heard. Interested parties for special occasions should call this Greenbelt branch at (02)7280886.
Ohmygosh! Like most times prior to a long haul trip, I feel those tingly sensations once again! I will be in a country that doesn’t welcome journalists (a visa application includes a conforme that disallows journalists and writers of any kind) to set foot on their soil. A land of a thousand temples; of Buddhist monks; and far-off adventures! I can’t wait! If anyone of you is in this country in the next few weeks, let’s meet up over Mandalay coffee? ;->
This is the Eye in the Sky.