Likha [Emeryville]

Thinking that a Monday night would be a quiet night to try a restaurant located in a bar, I headed to Likha for dinner. Likha is a Filipino-American restaurant that resides in Hometown Heroes, a sports bar. Since I don’t follow sports ball, the fact that yesterday was Monday night football (with the Raiders) foiled my quiet dinner plans, but I still enjoyed all my food.

Mind you, this place is a bar first. When you sit down, you’re handed menus, but when you order drinks, they ask for a credit card to file away. The food arrives on paper dinnerware with compostable forks.

First up was a mission fig and papaya salad. The salad was crunchy and sweet/tart with peanuts, red cabbage, cilantro, and green papaya. Delicious! I was especially appreciative of this salad once my other rich foods starting arriving because it was a great palate cleanser.

The lechon kawali, deep fried pork belly with the most addictive layer of crackled skin, so succulent. A couple pieces were slightly dry, but when you hit a perfect piece (the majority) had crackly skin, a buttery layer of fat, and moist meat. I was peeling apart layers like an Oreo cookie so I could savor each part.

The pork belly sisig came on a sizzle plate. One of the better versions I’ve had: moist, flavorful meat with little crunchy bits where the skillet caramelized the meat.

The lumpia was good, but what really stood out to me was the chili dipping sauce. Again, the kitchen nailed the sweet/tart flavor, this time with a tiny kick. I could eat that sauce on everything!

I’m ashamed to say that there were no leftovers, although the portions are generous and you won’t leave hungry. When I looked over the menu before my visit, I packed a little container with me specifically to take home leftovers because I thought there was no way I could eat that much. My husband was also with me, so I’d like to think that there would have been leftovers if I was solo. :wink: I am kicking myself, though, because that sisig would be a killer breakfast.

I’ll be back, and I hope other HOs visit this place, too! The cocktails are solid - I had a riff on a Last Word called What’s My Favorite Word? and another one with mezcal and Ancho Reyes whose name escapes me.


Here’s some supplemental reading on Likha.


I think for this audience, you will wear ‘no leftovers when the food is tasty’ as a badge of honor. :smiley:

Thanks for the report. There are so many Filipino popups this couple of years that I just lost count. I am glad these guys are doing it right.

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