At an intersection between the World Wide Web and Downtown Los Angeles, we had the opportunity to dine with Jennifer Yu, a successful food blogger using the handle @misspiggieeats.
Everyone gathered at the fantastic Filipino restaurant, LASA (located in Chinatown), where Jennifer shared how she got started in the business, her experiences as a food blogger, along with foodie-life trends.
By the end of our feast we found ourselves pondering, "Aren't we all Little Miss Piggies?" Take a peak at the tête-à-tête that ensued!
Q. Why do you love food?
A. I grew up watching my mom cook authentic Korean dishes and loved everything she made! So, I think that for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved it because of my mom. As I got a little older, it was amazing traveling to different cultures and trying new, exciting dishes. Personally, I’m not one of those people who gets all the measurements right when she cooks— I kind of improvise. What can I say? I fell in love with food.
Q. What inspired you to doc your foodie adventures?
A. Food brings people together! I used to love documenting the food I would cook at home and because of that, I started slowly having an image feed on my phone. One day my friend told me, “There’s this thing called Instagram.” I wasn’t really into social media at the time… well… actually, I was kind of old school and didn’t know what it was! She told me that because I had so many photographs of food, I had to start sharing them. Initially, I would upload images to my computer and see what I liked and didn’t like— what I wanted to try again.
Q. How’d the name Miss Piggie Eats come about?
A. As a child, because of how much I enjoyed food (and I was not a picky eater), my brother started calling me Miss Piggie. I used to hate him for that, but eventually I was like, “Meh, whatever!” Later, I was contemplating what could be a cute name and thought to myself, “I literally eat like a Miss Piggie… Miss Piggie Eats!” That's how I put that together and came up with my handle.
Q. What’s been the most surprising thing about your explorations?
A. The most exciting thing is meeting other foodies and talking to them about how they got started. It’s pretty exciting to discover because they all come from different walks of life and you learn so much. Some people grew a love for food later in life, while food helped others find their way.
In the whole blogging world there are two types of people: the kind that truly just love food, love eating and the whole process; and the kind that aren’t true foodies but they do this for the pure love of blogging.
When I get invited to restaurants and have the opportunity to try all these amazing dishes, which is such a blessing, I cherish everything and don’t want to waste it. In the beginning I literally ate everything to the point where I was like… you know? Now, if I’m not going to finish everything (because they give me such large portions!), I’ll take the food with me and give it to my husband, my family, my friends or the homeless. I love sharing, because it makes me happy to see the food go to somebody who will really enjoy it.
What really bugs me is when I see peers who have the same opportunity literally doing it for the hype. They take their pictures of the food and then toss it— they won’t even try it! It really turns me off!
I’ve also seen people do that in front of the restaurant, and I think that it’s just so disrespectful.
Q. Is there anything trending like crazy right now?
A. Matcha is such a huge trend right now. There’s a new Matcha place opening up, like, every other month #iloveyousomatcha.
Q. Do you research before exploring a restaurant?
A. It really depends on the restaurant. If I’m going to an American cuisine restaurant, I wouldn't do research, but if it’s a little more of a unique cuisine, I’ll look into it. I don’t want to sound completely off when I speak to the chef; however, most of the time in Los Angeles you’ll be familiar with the type of food.
Q. Is there a type of cuisine that’s not strongly represented in LA?
A. There aren’t as many French restaurants here.
Q. What do you think about LASA?
A. I’ve never actually had this type of Filipino food. I can’t really compare this restaurant to other restaurants, like Max’s, because this is a modern take on Filipino food. Honestly though, this is one of my favorite, favorite experiences that I’ve had in a long time. I say that because it’s super unique... the flavors are so on point with everything he mixes and puts together. Perfectly balanced. I would definitely come back again. It’s a comfortable atmosphere too. Very welcoming!
Q. What were your favorite dishes?
A. The beef tartare was special because it’s very different and, OMG, the flavors were a high-class fusion! The powder from the green onions was just, so perfect— like icing on a cake. Also, the unexpected combination of the mushy beef tartar and crispy taro chips was amazingly balanced.
I loved their dessert: Condensed Milk Ice Cream with Black Sesame Polvoron. It wasn’t super heavy, like I thought it was going to be, because of the condensed milk. To be honest when you bite into it… it’s light. I love black sesame too; the texture just sings with the creaminess of the ice cream. It’s sweet but not overly sweet. I think you’ve seen me devour the whole thing pretty much! I could just keep eating this because it’s such a good fusion. Lol.
The airiness was to die for.
Q. What should people know about LASA?
A. You should come here for the whole experience. It’s an uncommon place and I love supporting mom and pop establishments. At the same time, the dishes speak for themselves. When you try them you’ll be blown away by all the contrasting flavors.