Cheap Thrills: Kalye Hits

Filipino street food that's not for the faint of heart

Walkman? Betamax? Adidas?

No, these aren't just throwbacks to the Run D.M.C. era, they're nicknames for the vinegar-doused skewers of barbecued offal–pig's ear, pork blood cubes and chicken feet, to be exact–at Hollywood's newest street food enclave, Kalye Hits.

The San Diego-based Filipino restaurant scored an appearance on Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods last year for its oddly named menu items, but when chef-owner Jose Nagui moved north to open shop in a cramped strip mall off the 101, he knew that it was the more mainstream staples that had to pass Pinoy muster.

"Our Filipino customers are very picky about certain dishes," says Nagui, "especially ones that remind them of home."

It's fortunate, then, that Kalye's sizzling pork sisig ($9) is one of the best we've tasted. Dive into the amped-up, spicy-sour hash of crispy pig, served on a cast-iron skillet with a raw egg slowly frying in the center. We mopped up our entire plate with a mound of white rice.

Pancit bihon

Make sure to snag a bowl of slippery and savory pancit, too; the classic roadside noodles ($9) are interlaced with a kitchen sink's-worth of cabbage, carrot, fish cake, diced chicken and nubs of fried garlic.

End things sweetly with an "Ice Scramble" ($5), a curious Pepto-pink bubblegum smoothie thickened with chocolate syrup and powdered milk.

Sound a little weird? It's like that, and that's the way it is.