A Manila and Memphis Mash-up

The Park's Finest settles down

We'd like to invite you to a backyard Filipino barbecue tonight.

Now, we've never been to such a party, and tonight's feast will be in a restaurant, but hear us out. With backyard Filipino barbecue caterer extraordinaire The Park's Finest in the kitchen, we're confident this new Temple Street restaurant echoes that festive flavor.

But don't expect lechón like you might find in Manila. The Park's Finest offers a signature amalgam of Filipino and Southern barbecue, born of the diverse surrounding neighborhood.

The menu of long-smoked meats changes weekly, with various cuts of pork augmented by lamb ribs, chicken wings and beef. We loved the peppery tri-tip (pictured; $10), each thick slice edged in a red-tinged smoke ring, and Mama Leah's Coconut Beef ($10), its smoked nuggets lacquered with a thick layer of rich coconut sauce. We'd gladly eat it spooned over steamed rice and sluiced with the restaurant's soy-and-cider-vinegar sauce.

For dessert, don't miss the cornbread bibingka ($2), soft squares of slightly sweet bread that have a light, fluffy texture thanks to the rice flour that's mixed into the cornmeal.

The Park's Finest, 1267 W. Temple St., Westlake; 213-247-4909 or theparksfinest.com