Pork lumpia is a nod to siblings Marc Lao and Jeeryn Dang's upbringing in the Philippines, Chinese chicken salad to the Chinese food they ate growing up and Vietnamese spring rolls to the Vietnamese partners each married.
"Cooking at home became a mix, 'halo halo,' of different Asian flavors that is reflected in Blend's menu," the cafe’s website states. ("Halo halo" is Tagalog for "mixed.")
From left to right, the Blend team: Arthur Lao, Marc Lao, Jeeryn Dang, Jerico Suguitan and Lydia Lee. Photo by Ker Than.
They also grew up eating and working at Magic Wok, a Chinese-Filipino restaurant their parents opened in Sunnyvale in 1989.
Blend will open in the university's new science quad, located between the Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning and the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Biology Research Building.
The main focus of the menu is customizable bowls. Customers can choose a base (white or brown rice, salad greens or vermicelli noodles), protein (Filipino-style marinated beef, panko-breaded chicken breast, pulled adobo pork or grilled lemongrass chicken) and then add toppings such as bean sprouts, cucumber, kimchi and tomato achara.
Sides include the lumpia, spring rolls, Filipino spaghetti and soups. Blend will also serve Vietnamese iced coffee.
During the summer Blend will be open Monday through Friday for lunch only, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Starting in the fall, Blend will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast they plan to serve silog, a traditional Filipino breakfast of garlic rice and fried egg, as well as pastries and coffee.