Romy Doriton, the chef/owner of The Purple Yam tells me 'sourness', is at the heart of Filipino cuisine. Despite Spanish influences, there are 3 dishes that Filipino's lay claim to being authentically theirs. They are Kinilaw, a form a Filipino cheviche. (Fresh seafood cooked in vinegar), Adobo, (more on that later) and Sinigang, which is meat cooked in a sour broth, with tamarind.
Haegeen, a Korean chef makes the Daily Kimchi at The Purple Yam. It's seasonal, and can be anything from Baby Cucumber (above), Watermelon Radish, or Pineapple. Try Haegeen's Daily Kimchi with an Adobo dish. (A house signature dish) The Chicken Adobo is always on the menu, but occasionally Chef Romy adds other Adobo-style dishes. Like Beef Brisket, Baby Back Ribs, or Pork. Adobo is a combination of Vinegar, Soy, Garlic and Coconut Milk. Romy uses Rice Vinegar in his Chicken Adobo, but will often use Coconut Vinegar in his Pork or Beef Adobo. Coconut Vinegar is stronger than Rice Vinegar and not from the Coconut fruit. It's the sap from a Coconut tree, made into Coconut wine and then the distilled spirit fermented into Coconut vinegar.
The Purple Yam also has a dish called Sisig, on the menu which is pig cheeks, ears and snout in lime & chilies.
To balance out the 'sourness', finish up with a must-order dish of delectably sweet Heirloom Tomato Ice-cream.
To re-create authentic Filipino recipes at home, seek out Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan's cookbook, Memories of Phillipine Kitchens.
You can purchase Coconut Vinegar at Wholefoods.