Sari Filipino Kusina in Annandale opened in early December, as a rebrand of its existing barbecue restaurant, adding Filipino cuisine to the menu. The clean, attractive strip mall location offers helpful, welcoming staff and an interesting display of Filipino products for sale.
At the counter, we ordered veggie lumpia, a staple in Filipino dining. The four-piece appetizer, $8.50, was not particularly crisp but slightly mushy inside. Three Filipino street BBQ skewers cost $12.50 for small, gristly bites of soy sauce-glazed pork.
For entrées, the smoked lechon manok — lemongrass chicken served with chile vinegar and crunchy atchara — offered basic barbecue chicken on a bed of yellow rice. The pickled papaya, carrot, and peppers of the atchara condiment added a refreshing sweet-sour tang to the dish. As for the smoked beef rib bistek, it presents impressively, nearly an homage to Fred Flintstone with a comically large bone. Neither the short rib meat or the soy sauce glazing it were particularly warm, though, so the gravy was sticky and congealed.
Dessert was pleasant — Tito Sam’s turon delivered two caramel-covered banana lumpia egg rolls, bringing a sweet ending to an expensive meal. With hit-and-miss dishes here so far, visitors might want to wait a beat for Sari works out some kinks. 6920-J Braddock Rd., Annandale
See This: Filipino products for sale on the rack near the register.
Eat This: calamansi cooler, smoked lechon manok, Tito Sam’s turon
Sunday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
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