Pampalasa celebrates its Filipino heritage and cultural pride by supporting and ensuring sustainably sound business practices and products for a responsible, cultural dining experience, positive working environment, and meaningful involvement within its local community in San Francisco through charitable activities.
"Like many American-born Filipinos growing up, I always wondered why there were never any Filipino restaurants around. I always wondered why Filipino food and Filipino culture were never mainstream like all the other Asian foods and cultures out there, especially since we were such a big population. I just figured maybe our food was just too intimidating to non-Filipinos because it was always served in that 'turo-turo' style (point-point) which didn't always have descriptions or signs explaining what the dishes were. And then there were always all those different vinegars and condiments served along with it to make it even more confusing. I don't know, whatever the reason, I just want to open people up to Filipino food and culture so that they'll discover that we are so much more than just lumpia, adobo and Manny Pacquio..."
Jennifer is an American-born Filipino and spent most of her life traveling abroad and living in five other states before coming out to California on her own. After moving to San Francisco she quickly established a new life for herself exploring the outdoors, racing endurance races, paddling outrigger canoe and volunteering her free time with many local, Filipino, and Asian & Pacific Islander causes, namely with the Asian Women's Shelter, so that she could “give back.”
Jennifer had always wanted to open a restaurant since college. She wanted the restaurant to be her tool for sharing her Filipino culture, and also for giving back to the community in a much bigger way that her volunteer work could not. To gain experience she had worked a couple years as a cook at the de Young Museum and with Taste Catering, along with a couple years of being a cashier and food server at random cafes. She also volunteered her time as a culinary pavilion manager to local Filipino foodie events such as the Pistahan Parade and Festival and Savor Filipino. Further, she went through the business program at the nonprofit Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center to put together a business plan.
Jennifer is proud of her Filipino American heritage and is excited to be part of the next generation of "entrepinoys" looking to share and express their culture through food. Opening a food business, especially in a city like San Francisco, is definitely not for the faint of heart. Yet, she is grateful to finally have the opportunity to live her dreams and to share a little bit of her Filipino culture with all of you.
photo credit: SINE68 FILMS