It was a banner year for unlikely fusion cuisine. Much like Jennifer Kim has done at Passerotto, husband-and-wife duo Lawrence Letrero and Raquel Quadreny have managed to invent an entirely new culinary category at this dainty eatery: in this case, a Filipino-Cuban mash-up, a nod to their respective heritages. True, there’s a fair amount of common ground between the two cooking traditions to begin with — an obsession with all things pork, for one thing — but Letrero and Quadreny have found novel means of cross-pollination as well. The meaty richness of a pan-fried Cuban short-rib bistec is countered by a marinade made with calamansi, a citrus fruit native to the Philippines. A plate of lechón, the crispy pork that’s practically the Filipino national dish, gets a garlicky charge from a side of mojo sauce, Cuba’s go-to condiment. As you feast beneath a wall of whimsically arranged succulent plants, you’ll wish there were more places like Bayan Ko. For now, though, let’s consider ourselves lucky that we have even one.