Mabuhay Magazine

Newly opened only last December 7, Luna is the latest addition to the cute restaurants and bars lining hip Orosa Street in Malate area. This place is a creation of five friends - Vanna Calalang, Annie Cacho, Manet Dayrit, Vera Cacho and Rachel Ruiz. And quite a place they have created.



The cuisine is Mediterranean with a strong Spanish and Italian representation. There is a serious attention to detail in their food preparation. For instance, an Italian expert was even brought to Manila to supervise the installation of their brick oven for their pizzas. Being wood-fired, the pizzas retain their rich flavors. Try their "Vanna pizza" (bresaala, asparagus, roasted eggplant and capers) priced at P295 ($7.40) which two to three people can share. Try also their "Tapas Borquerones" (marinated smelt) in olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. A glass of Spanish or Italian house wine costs P90 or a little less than $2.50. The restaurant stays away from fusion cooking and strives to be as authentic as possible.

Physically, the place is very tastefully done as can be expected from a group of upper crust young people who are well educated, well traveled and obviously, have been around. And it shows in the way that they have fixed the place. Everything is just right-Mediterranean touches here and there without going overboard or as some joints make the mistake of-trying too hard. There are two levels for dining. A nice touch though is their terrace on the second floor for those who want a change and watch the free "street show" below-the colorful characters of bohemian Malate.



Managing partner Vanna Calalang is no stranger to the food business as her family is responsible for creating successful restaurants like Mongolian Grill, Seasons (now at the Security Bank Center at Ayala Avenue in Makati City) and Intermezzo (looking for a new location). Vanna herself formally trained in the culinary arts in Manila and in California.

The ambience is a bonus in this new place. Go for the food. It is safe and worth checking out. You can't miss the place. It is the only one along Orosa Street that hangs cute lanterns on the tree with what else, a quarter moon.

180 Orosa Street, Malate, MM
Tel. 400-9820