Who would think, judging by the simple name, signage and look of it, that this restaurant houses a few of the best Filipino food in the region?
I've never heard of LZM Restaurant before, but my dad was raving about it lately. Having eaten here just the week before without me, they finally took pity and decided to haul my ass up with them so I could feast on LZM's fare en route to Tagaytay.
It was just a little more than a hole in the wall, albeit the place was clean. There were about 6 dining sets, but even before noon, the restaurant was almost packed. I could see gigantic platters and bowls coming out of the kitchen, all served to different diners. My dad started dictating our orders to the waiter, and I was surprised that he stopped at three dishes. "That will be enough for now." he said. How the heck would that suffice? I thought.
In comes the Chicharon Bulaklak (P270) which had the perfect echoing crunch accompanied by a dribble of sebaceous oil released with the crush of a bite. Each "flower" was big and freshly made, hence the crispness of its undulated circumference and the plump tenderness of the innards. It was a far cry from the commercialized ones sold reheated and bordered on being stale and tough.
As soon as the platter of Boneless Bangus (P330-P380) was laid down upon our table, I understood why my dad stopped at three. The fish was humongous! The succulent milkfish was coated in flour and fried until golden brown. The crispy crust contrasted with the tender meat that was seasoned well and tinctured with acidity, perhaps from calamansi? It was certainly one of the tastiest bangus I've ever eaten -- not overly salty and definitely not bland either.
Their Pinakbet (P270) is also one of the best I've tasted; a hodgepodge of ampalaya, okra, eggplant, squash, string beans and some big chunks of meat immersed in a sauce filled with shrimp paste made from krill or minute shrimps, more commonly known as bagoong alamang. It's really interesting to note their knack for achieving the right balance of flavors. The sauce wasn't briny nor was it watery as some that you might encounter elsewhere.
Needless to say, we were more than satiated after that very satisfying meal. It's really true what they say, sometimes you find gold in the unlikeliest of places. Kudos to LZM for dancing gracefully on the fine line between extreme flavors. By the way, I heard their Bulalo is also to die for. Until next time then.
Spot: Bldg. C Solenad 2 Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna