Musang, the mouthwateringly good Filipino pop-up from Melissa Miranda, has been selling out their brunches at Bar Del Corso for awhile now. And why wouldn’t they, with several courses of brilliantly executed and delightfully modern takes on Filipino classics, all delivered to the sounds of a local DJ? A better question would be, Why hasn’t Miranda opened her own restaurant yet?
Besides doing Musang and holding it down on the line at Bar Del Corso, she’s also found the time to put on a boatload of other exciting, forward-thinking food events, be it her special burger this month at Lil’ Woody’s or her regular guest appearances at East Trading Co. She’s somehow involved with every cool event series in town, from No Cookbooks Allowed to Guerilla Kitchen, and is, to me, the figurehead of a very exciting movement of young chefs of color in this city. Let me not forget her recent appearance at Ciudad’s “Dinner and a DJ” series, in which she teamed up with notable local Italian Marcus Lalario to show off all the magical dishes she’d picked up while living in Italy, and a little visit to the James Beard Foundation’s celebration of regional Filipino food.
She is, in short, a force of nature, and is using her boundless energy and enthusiasm to push our city’s dining scene in a direction it really needs to go. Which is to say, away from tired, Eurocentric downtown “concepts” run by restaurant groups, and towards true diversity. Check the crowd at any Musang event, and you’ll see that she does that very, very well. And she does something else very well that I think our city needs: getting people to respect non-Western cuisine. If I had a nickel for every time I heard people say that pho should never cost more than $6 and the city is losing its soul because Japanese people are opening fancy restaurants instead of cheap teriyaki joints, I would put them all in a bag and club those people to death with it.
Anyway, this is all to say that, from the moment I first tasted Miranda’s food, I wondered why someone with this much momentum wasn’t running their own restaurant. Now, if we’re lucky, she will be:
It’s finally here ???? We’re incredibly excited for the opportunity to open up a permanent home for Musang and have organized a Kickstarter to help us in opening our official brick-and-mortar later this year. IMMENSE thanks to everyone who has supported us this far. — Read more about our mission and explore the series of events we have planned as part of our fundraiser. Link in bio.
Beacon Hill, which used to be a haven for Seattle’s Filipino community, saw its longstanding Filipino favorites, Inay’s and Kusina Filipina, succumb to, shall we say, changing neighborhood demographics. Seeing Miranda put a Filipino place back on Beacon hill would be incredibly satisfying. Eating at it, if her previous work is any indication, would be doubly so.
“Musang will be a casual, neighborhood establishment, serving personal, intimate, and overwhelming Filipinx dishes from my childhood memories Tuesday through Saturday and Brunches on Saturday and Sunday,” she writes on her Kickstarter page. “With a 48 seat restaurant space and one big staff, this project is daunting for first-time restauranteurs. Support from friends, family, and community has always been essential to our success.”
If there’s anyone who deserves that support, it’s Mel. Do your city a favor, and donate.