Friday, April 1, 2011

When we started The Manila Machine 10 months ago, we had two goals:

  • Introduce street and home-style meals from the Philippines to the hungry masses of Southern California
  • Make it to 6 months

Everything and anything that happened in addition to these two goals would be gravy, or in our case, adobo sauce. We never had any aspirations to open a brick and mortar restaurant, and we never entertained thoughts of having more than one truck. Quite honestly, we just had a crazy idea and wanted to see if we could pull it off.

And I think we did.

Since day one, we put our noses to the grindstone and worked our asses off to execute our vision of Filipino food. And now, after looking up and looking back, we see that The Manila Machine has gone above and beyond our initial expectations:

We don’t know about you, but we think we’ve accomplished quite a lot for a just a couple of food bloggers.

Team Manila Machine at The Gold Standard 2011

And now, we’d like to announce that The Manila Machine will no longer be roaming the streets and freeways of Southern California… at least for the time being.

At this stage of our business we will no longer be operating out of our truck, but rather, we will be focusing on catered events only.

We are fortunate that with the success of The Manila Machine, we have been afforded some great possibilities beyond the realm of food trucking. And we’d be crazy to not dive head first into these new opportunities.

For me, a new cookbook is in the works. And for Nastassia, a few new business opportunities are on the table for her choosing. If these aren’t good enough reasons to give up grueling work days on a food truck, we don’t know what is.

And thankfully, by focusing on catering for the next few months, Team Manila Machine will have more time to spend with our family and friends, as well as more time to dedicate to our individual projects. And if you keep your eyes peeled on The Cooking Channel in the coming months, you might just catch a quick glimpse or two of Team Manila Machine up and about–out of the truck.

For all the biters, doubters, and haters out there (we’ve got a lot of them)–we’ve heard, and continue to hear, the things you say about us, so thank you for making us feel that much more SPECIAL. Enjoy the streets.

And a sincere thank you to our fellow food truckers who made us feel welcomed, who truly understand the everyday grind of food trucking, and who are as passionate about their work as they are their food.

Lastly, thank you to all our loyal fans, customers, and supporters. Thank you for helping us put Filipino food into the general consciousness, and into the mouths, of Southern California and beyond. SALAMAT!

But don’t fret, Filipino food lovers. This isn’t the end of The Manila Machine. Just think of this as an extended hiatus of sorts. Please continue to keep an eye out for us. You might just see our big orange truck when and where you least expect it. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Until then…


Marvin Gapultos
Nastassia Johnson
The Manila Machine

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Friday, April 1, 2011

In celebration of what we thought was a wonderful end to ONE phase of our business, Team Manila Machine took some much-needed time off  to spend with our loved ones. Nastassia went to Disneyland with her boyfriend. And I spent some time in Santa Barbara with my wife while our 19-month old son was with his grandparents.

The past 10 months have been grueling for both Nastassia and I. Our home relationships were often strained while we tirelessly worked on a project we passionately believed in. Luckily for us, we both had the support and understanding of our loved ones. Unfortunately though, everyone else in the world is not as supportive and understanding. And now we are ready to move onto the next phase of our business.


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Sunday, February 27, 2011

LA Weekly’s 3rd Annual Gold Standard Food and Wine event will be taking place Sunday March 6, from 1-5pm at the Petersen Auto Museum.

The Gold Standard will feature a collection of LA’s best and most eclectic restaurants–all hand-picked by Pulitzer Prize Winning food critic, Jonathan Gold. In addition to his taste in fine wine and food, Mr. Gold is also widely known for his appreciation of Los Angeles’ many ethnic cuisines. The Gold Standard will provide the rare opportunity for the people of LA to sample all of Mr. Gold’s favorites in one place.

The Manila Machine is proud (as well as thrilled and excited) to announce that we are among the restaurants chosen by Mr. Gold, and we are even prouder that we’ll be representing Filipino cuisine at this year’s Gold Standard.

General admission to the Gold Standard is $60, with a portion of proceeds going to Heal the Bay. Tickets can be purchased online here. Not only will you get to see Team Manila Machine out of the truck and in the flesh, but you’ll also get to sample some of our food, along with the food from more than 40 of LA’s best eateries, as well as some wine, beer and spirits.

Don’t miss out on LA’s most coveted food and wine event of the year. Hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Check the clip above for The Manila Machine on Inside the Vault. Find us at the 3:38 mark. Many thanks to Bon Appetit Restaurant Editor and Iron Chef America judge, Andrew Knowlton, and the rest of the Inside the Vault crew.


Psssst. Hoy Filipino Food Lovers!

This Sunday February 20th at 7pm Pacific time, The Manila Machine will be featured on the television show Inside the Vault. You can watch Inside the Vault locally here in Los Angeles on KTLA channel 5, and nationally on WGN America.

Inside the Vault is a new series hosted by Jill Wagner, NFL commentator Cris Collinsworth, and comedian Alonzo Bodden. In addition to its great hosts, this weekend’s episode of Inside the Vault will also feature Bon Appetit Restaurant Editor/Iron Chef America Judge, Andrew Knowlton.  Mr. Knowlton actually suggested that The Manila Machine appear on the show, so of course we obliged–the man does know good food after all.

In this weekend’s episode of Inside the Vault, viewers will be treated to some behind the scenes action of The Manila Machine and perhaps an insider’s peak at a couple of our best dishes.

Southern California’s FIRST Filipino food truck, The Manila Machine, will proudly be representing Filipino food on national television. And if you miss the episode, we’ll post clips when they become available.

So tune in to Inside the Vault on Sunday February 20th. For times and local listings, click here.

SoCal, catch us on KTLA channel 5 at 7pm on Sunday February 20th!

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Monday, February 14, 2011


Due to expected rain, the SCV Food Truck Festival will be postponed until Saturday February 26th. See you then!!!

After making our lone appearance (and quickly selling out of food) in the Santa Clarita Valley a few weeks ago, some rather mysterious circumstances (not of our doing) prevented us from making a second stop in the SCV.

But don’t fret Santa Clarita! You asked, and you shall receive. The Manila Machine will be making its triumphant (weather permitting) return to the SCV for the Santa Clarita Food Truck Festival on February 19 February 26th from 11am-6pm.

Admission to the Food Truck Festival is $5 with presale, and $10 at the door (early admission from noon to 2pm is reserved for pre-sale ticket holders). So for all you fans in the SCV that have been fiending for SoCal’s First Filipino Food Truck, come and find The Manila Machine on February 19th in Santa Clarita’s Central Park.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Photo Courtesy Cathy Chaplin

Continuing our one-of-a-kind efforts in bringing the authentic flavors of the Philippines to the masses, The Manila Machine is happy to announce a one-of-a kind Filipino food and wine pairing event with Domaine LA.

On Sunday January 23 from 2-5pm, The Manila Machine will be serving a special Filipino tasting menu to be paired with a selection of French and Italian wines chosen by Domaine LA’s staffers Whitney Adams (also of “On The Lamb Food & Wine”) and Jesse Brawner. The Manila Machine tasting menu will include Sisig, Beef Tapa, Lumpia, Crispy Adobo Flakes, and Ube Cupcakes.

Having a wide spectrum of flavors influenced by Malaysia, China, Spain, Mexico, and even the United States, it should be of no surprise that Filipino food can be enjoyed with wine. And with our contemporary take on traditional street and home-style Filipino dishes, The Manila Machine menu can provide endless matches with a variety of wine styles (but don’t forget, our offerings are still damn good with a cold bottle of San Mig–Filipino food is versatile like that).

Presale tickets are available online for $20. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event for $24. The Manila Machine tasting menu cannot be purchased separately from this event, but regular Manila Machine a la carte items will be available for purchase the day of the event.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Greetings Filipino food fiends, and Happy New Year! Just wanted to let everyone know that The Manila Machine is back on the road for 2011! With all the recent rain (and snow in the SCV?!!), be sure to find us this week for some warm and soulful Filipino food.

On Tuesday, we’ll be serving breakfast and lunch at the UCLA Court of Sciences.

Wednesday we’re hitting up the valley in Woodland Hills with our buds Coolhaus.

Thursday we’re, shhhhh…

Friday The Manila Machine will be in North Hollywood at Pilgrim Films for lunch. UPDATE: We’ll be serving dinner and pulutan at Eagle Rock Brewery on Friday night from 6-10pm.

We’re closing the week out on Saturday in Sherman Oaks with our other friends Get Your Lardon.

That’s right everyone, be on the lookout this week for the warm orange rays of SoCal’s First Filipino food truck. We’ve got the most authentic and extensive Filipino menu on four wheels–you know it, and your Lola knows it (she told us so)!

Happy 2011!!!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This Friday, December 10, the one and only Kina Grannis will be performing at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. The Manila Machine was fortunate enough to be invited to the show, so we’ll be parked outside the El Rey and serving our regular menu–SoCal’s most authentic and extensive Filipino menu on four wheels. And to make the night even awesomer (yes, awesomer), we’re bringing our buddies The Boba Truck along with us.

Admission to Kina’s show is $15, and tickets are available online at the El Rey website. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the show. So come on down to the El Rey on Friday, December 10 for a great night of food and music.

And if that poster above isn’t enough for all you Kinerds out there (we see you), check out Kina’s latest video post where she gives a shout out to The Manila Machine:

OK, one more video for all of Kina’s fans:

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Monday, December 6, 2010

This weekend on December 11 & 12, The Manila Machine will be a featured vendor at Unique LA’s food cafe at the California Market Center. Unique LA is the largest independent design show in the country, attendees get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from over 300 hand-selected designers and artists. The exciting two-day shopping event makes it easy for you to buy local and support LA’s economy, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast! Over 95% of the products at the show are proudly made right here in the USA! In addition, UNIQUE LA partners with a non-profit for every show and donates a portion of sales to the chosen organization.

Tickets to the show are $10 at the door or in advance here. Admission includes:

• Free drinks & a hosted bar (IZZE, Honest Tea, Dry Soda, Function, and cocktails by ROOT)
• Unlimited re-entry for both days (Dec. 11-12)
• Your very own collectible tote bag, exclusive to each show
• Free eco workshops and cool handmade activities all weekend
• Family/Kids creativity zone and seating area
• Access to giveaways and door prizes all weekend long
• Souvenir copy of the Vendor Directory + Mini Magazine

So come on out this weekend, December 11-12, and enjoy some of  LA’s best Filipino grub from The Manila Machine while also helping out the local economy.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello Filipino food lovers!

Just wanted to check in with everyone and let you all know that Team Manila Machine will be taking this week off for some well-deserved (and much needed) rest. And while we’ll be enjoying some time with our families and feasting on turkey and lechon for Thanksgiving, The Manila Machine truck itself will be getting a few minor repairs this week as well.

We’ll be back on the road on Tuesday, November 30 and we’ll be serving Filipino breakfast and lunch at the UCLA court of sciences. But check back here in a week for a fully updated schedule.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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