The Truck: Hapa SF
The Cuisine: Filipino food reinterpreted
Specialty Items: Lumpia, sisig tacos, adobo chicken
Worth the Wait in Line? Definitely. At peak lunchtime, it was a total 15 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand
With the large roster of food trucks cruising the Bay Area, each with its own specialty, there are few that have a menu quite as diverse and well executed as Hapa SF. Chef William Pilz appropriately balances respect for Filipino classic dishes with some Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese flair. The dishes show the finesse that experience in the kitchen (and not a marketing degree) can produce.
While the sisig tacos ($6 for two, $8 for three; calamansi lime and soy braised pork, avocado salsa verde, cilantro, radishes, cabbage salad, corn tortillas) are rightfully a staple at the truck, the warmth of the day drew me to something a little bit lighter. The tri-cultural Chicken Adobo Bahn Mi Burrito ($8, adobo chicken, avocado salsa verde, cilantro, jalapeños, cabbage salad, pickled carrots, jicama) was a huge griddled flour tortilla bursting with slices of braised white-meat chicken and pickled veggies that contributed both texture and boldness, particularly when unearthing one of the fresh jalapeño slices. While the acidity of the cabbage slaw seemed calibrated for the richness of the sisig and not the tartness of the adobo, the need for something fatty was easily resolved by making it a combo with a side of lumpia.
The lumpia ($5 for seven pieces, $3 for five with any entree; ground pork, water chestnut, carrots, Thai sweet chile sauce) are crisp, greaseless, little packets with exactly the perfect ratio of crunchy outside to juicy filling. I mentally cursed and thanked Hapa SF for not selling them by the dozen: the size makes them precisely the right size for snacking, and if you're not careful, at an alarming rate, especially with beer.