Yesterday's stealth early opening of the Stanyan Street Whole Foods brought more than EARTH University bananas to Upper Haight. It also brought a trio of packaged Filipino entrees from truck vendor Hapa SF. Hapa's William Pilz tells SFoodie by e-mail that the three prepack products are meatless, since otherwise they'd have to be prepped in a USDA-certified kitchen, which Pilz calls prohibitively pricey. “As with all of our food they [are] rooted with Filipino ideas but modernized to embrace seasonal produce and sustainability,” Pilz writes. On offer: vegan pinakbet ($6.99), which eighty-sixes the bitter melon and shrimp paste, and comes with rice; arroz caldo ($7.99), now with artichokes and blood oranges, packed with toppings for garnishing; and torta pinakbet ($6.99), “our version of what others might think of as quiche,” Pilz says, eggs, spinach, and pinakbet wrapped in puff pastry.
SFoodie picked up the pinakbet, a vaguely ratatouille-like stew of julienne zucchini, eggplant, and piquillo peppers over jasmine rice. It was good, with vegetables that'd softened but still crunched against the teeth, well seasoned, and with a decent ratio of stew to rice. We didn't even miss the bagoong. Pilz says he's hoping to supply the city's other Whole Foods with entrees sometime soon.