Beach trips, surfing sessions, barkada bondings over booze. Just a four-hour drive away from the metro, La Union always comes to mind when in search for some needed RnR. And chef Lea Apolonio, nurse Xiana Lazaro, and IT specialist Errole Gutierrez—owners of Tagpuan Sa San Juan—proudly believe their hot establishment also offers the same sense of refuge.
Tagpuan Sa San Juan came about with the need for a place that'll offer not just drinks but also lugaw, mami, and other homey "hangover food." Xiana especially recalls themselves having problematized over it, back in 2015 when they walked back once to their place as there was no vehicle in sight. “After a few more days of contemplating, we just decided to go for it. We pooled our resources, looked for a place to rent, and created the menu,” she shares. “We created food that we wanted to eat when we want to recover so pares, beef mami, chicken adobo, lugaw, and bagnet came to life."
[related: Dining Delight: All Your Comfort Food In One Roof At This Cozy La Union Resto]
Tagpuan Sa San Juan then opened in two weeks—on the first day of April 2015.
“We did not just make them for the sake of serving food. We made them so people would really enjoy what they eat. We also priced it in a way that everyone, most especially the locals, would be able to afford it," Xiana says.
[related: Dining Delight: Thru Chu’s Diner, Pro Surfer Chu Takahashi Has Thrived As A Restaurateur]
Tagpuan Sa San Juan started serving from 6 PM to 2 AM only from Thursday to Sunday, but has since extended hours soon after because of the demand for breakfast and lunch offerings. The resto is now open from 8 AM to 2am from Monday to Sunday.
How much is the resto loved by the community? Three years since its opening, it has branched out at the Surfer’s Point Deck along the beach, aptly named Tagpuan Sa Baybay (baybay is Ilokano for the sea).
While this newer resto is revamping its menu to serve more seafood and local favorites, the owners, meanwhile, are excitedly looking into opening its first Manila branch.
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Photographs taken from instagram.com/tagpuansj