Tell Us Something Good

Tell Us Something Good, Melissa Miranda

The Musang Chef Recommends Local Tide, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, and More
March 24, 2021
We talked to Melissa Miranda of the nationally acclaimed, community-focused Filipinx restaurant Musang. (Andrew Imanaka)

For the latest installment of our "Tell Us Something Good" celebrity recommendation series, we emailed with chef and restaurant owner Melissa Miranda to find out how she's been staying entertained lately. Miranda runs the nationally acclaimed Filipinx pop-up-turned-restaurant Musang, which opened in Beacon Hill shortly before the pandemic and has been providing free food for those in need through its community kitchen program, in addition to raising funds for hospitality industry workers in response to COVID-19. She also has a Pizza and Pancit Pop-Up coming up on March 29, and she'll be part of FareStart's Guest Chef series on May 20. She told us about her love for Pho Bac Súp Shop, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, and more. Here's what she had to say.


Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a community leader and organizer, as well as the owner of Musang in Beacon Hill. I think of myself as a healer. From the outside, people might think that I am a chef, but I’m so much more. What I do feels so much more grounded in community and caretaking than what the idea of a “chef” has traditionally communicated. I’m Filipina-American. This identity is the foundation of who I am. Personally, creatively, artistically—being Filipina-American is at the core of how I move through the world and the lens through which I see the world.

What are your favorite restaurants for takeout or outdoor dining right now?    

My staff and I love to hit up our friends at Local Tide in Fremont when we have meetings together. I usually get the banh mi rockfish sandwich. I've also been spending a lot of time at Maneki - their whole menu is fantastic! I'm also loving, as always, Pho Bac Súp Shop. I recommend the small pho with tendon and brisket. Don't skip the egg rolls because they're definitely some of the best in the city!

What are your favorite local businesses or shops, aside from restaurants?    

I love the jewelry made by Epicene. I'm a huge fan of the Wing Luke Museum, who we've collaborated with in the past. BAHTOH is a hair salon and florist in the International District. It's POC-owned and amazing!

What movies or TV shows that you've seen recently would you recommend?    

I just binge-watched Awkwafina is Nora from Queens. The show Warrior on HBO is based off of some of Bruce Lee's writings and produced by his daughter, it's really beautiful.

What music or podcasts have you been listening to on repeat lately?  

I am obsessed with Oprah's Super Soul. She has really incredible guests and there's a lot of inspirational conversations and talks about self love, self awareness, and growth. I've been really into Orion Sun lately, as well as this group called Sault. I'm a huge fan of Ty Dolla $ign's latest album—he's a really talented musician!! It's incredible.

What are the best books you've read in the last few months?    

I'm reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami as well as a book called Authentic Leadership, which was produced by the Harvard Business Review as a part of their Emotional Intelligence series.

What outdoor spots or activities have you enjoyed recently?    

I really enjoy the Seward Park loop. Discovery Park is beautiful. I like to ride my bike along the Five Mile Drive in Tacoma. I've recently taken up boxing classes which have been so energizing and cathartic!

Do you have a favorite COVID purchase? Why?

My air fryer! It's honestly life-changing. If you want crispy chicken skin, just pop it in the air fryer.

Who are your favorite people to follow online, local or otherwise? Why?

I love to keep up with my Musang fam's online presence. I love Chrissy Teigen so much because she's so fucking funny! I love Yung Pueblo and Pavana Reddy so much.

How else have you stayed entertained in Seattle during COVID? Anything else you'd recommend?  

Being able to have the opportunity to have a bubble that I can spend time with has been a huge blessing. Musang's Community Kitchen brings me so much joy and I'm so proud of the support that has gathered around this project. My video appearances with Bon Appétit make me so happy, all of our shoots are so fun.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Seattle when COVID is over?    

I'm most looking forward to going to a music festival and dancing with my friends.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Support your communities!