For many people around the world — especially Filipinos — Spam is a beloved staple in their meals, whether served with egg and rice for breakfast or wrapped with seaweed as a snack.
To celebrate the universal appeal and popularity of Spam, a FREE pop-up event in Los Angeles this September 14 and 21 takes over a tiki bar in Hollywood to bring unique and inventive twists of how to serve the canned cooked meat.
Think Spam-flavored soft-serve to a Filipino-inspired musubi. The concoctions are absolute madness, which is why the name of the event ‘Masubi Madness’ is particularly fitting.
Enter the pop-up restaurant and the first stop is getting a yellow Spam shirt, a Spam musubi pin, and leis that serve as ‘tickets’ for each food station. Next, grab a Spam-themed Cocktail: A play on the famous tiki drink includes rum, pineapple, Cara Cara Orange, coconut creme served over crushed ice in a recycled Spam can.
There’s a ‘Build-Your-Own’ musubi bar that pays tribute to the iconic Hawaiian dish that places a slice of Spam atop white rice and wrapped with seaweed.
Guests can choose one of the globally-themed musubis: an American cheeseburger musubi that uses Spam instead of a beef patty, grilled onions and a “secret sauce”; chili verde musubi (Mexico) with salsa verde, queso fresco and Spanish rice; bokkeumbap musubi (Korea) featuring Korean fried rice, chili paste, kimchi and green onion; and spring roll musubi (Vietnam) with cucumber, pickled carrots, egg roll crisps and nuoc cham, a sweet and vinegary dipping sauce.
Of course, you can’t have a Spam event without highlighting something Filipino, given that the canned meat is a cultural symbol between the U.S. and the Philippines post World War II.
The bar has a Filipino lumpia musubi: Tocino Spam, two small savory lumpias, garlic fried rice and sweet chili sauce. (On the first day of the pop-up on Sept. 7, this musubi was a crowd favorite.)
“I believe that the affinity Filipino people have for Spam was something that made perfect sense in representing it in musubi form. To have the Philippines represented in the global musubi bar is integral in highlighting Filipino cuisine’s place in the food world right now,” Reach Guinto, managing editor of Foodbeast, which is hosting the pop-up, told the Asian Journal.
That’s just the first station. Don’t miss the ground shrimp and Spam corn dogs in togarashi batter and banana ketchup.
You can’t leave without dessert: a Spam-infused soft-serve in a waffle bowl with toppings selections, such as furikake teriyaki caramel, vanilla braised pineapple, candied nuts and rum caramel.
Tickets grant guests two savory dishes, a cocktail and dessert — quite a generous deal, but you’ll just have to check your cholesterol afterward.
The pop-up will be held at LONO Hollywood (6611 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048) on Saturday, Sept. 14 and 21 with slots available between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance is free but RSVPs are required at www.foodbeast.com/spam. Attendees must be 21 years or older.