So great is the excitement around Melissa Miranda’s new Filipino restaurant on Beacon Hill, not to mention around the dynamic chef herself, that sometimes one can forget it isn’t even open yet.
That all changes this week. After a pre-holiday trial run, Musang is softly open over the weekend, with a grand opening set for January 9. Weekend brunch will begin January 25.
Miranda’s space at 2524 Beacon Ave S is just a few blocks north of Bar del Corso, where she launched Musang as a popup while cooking Italian as sous chef. It’s also very clearly a converted home (formerly Travelers Thali House), an apt setting for Filipino food Miranda describes as “authentic to our childhood memories.” Miranda herself grew up in the neighborhood; Musang takes its name from her father, or more specifically from his nickname, inspired by a black Mustang and the Tagalog word for "wild cat."
As her food attracted a following, the indefatigable Miranda has served garlic fried rice, Dungeness crab kare kare, and sisig rice bowls at what seems like a hundred events and kitchens around town. During December’s trial runs, the adobong pusit pancit—deeply flavored noodles topped with calamari—was a particular hit, she says. It's a dish that definitely resonates with her own upbringing. “My dad is hand-catching the squid right now.” (Check out the full menu situation on Musang’s website.)
While Filipino food has long been an integral part of Seattle culture, Miranda is part of a wave of chefs redefining its presence via their personal food histories and most of all their culinary talents. Musang won't take reservations, and it feels like a silly understatement to say crowds are likely—remember to temper your excitement with patience and fortitude.