Nothing cures homesickness quite like food from your motherland.

Sitting on an unassuming street corner of the Mission, Irma's doesn't look like much from the outside. It doesn't look like much on the inside either. The place is well-lit, the tables are clean, and the television is playing at a respectable volume. The staff is warm and friendly and all-smiles. The food is displayed behind a glass panel, turo-turo style. They didn't label the dishes, but if you grew up with this food, you'll be able to identify most of it.

An order of white rice gets you a mountain of the stuff on a large plate. Huge. It could have easily fed three people. But the Philippines is the land that put "Extra Rice" on the menu, so I got a sentimental kick out of that. The bistek was juicy and tender, and the sauce was great for pouring over your rice. The sisig had the right amount of heat, although I don't think they used the pig cheek and ears traditionally used for this dish.

It's hard to judge the food at Irma's with the same scale I use to judge other cuisines, simply because Filipino food always gives me something extra. It gives me comfort and serves up a host of memories that no other cuisine can give me. I was craving a taste of home and Irma's gave me just that.
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