Filipino Food in Historic Filipinotown?
My wife and I are recent NYC transplants who are accustomed to wandering neighborhoods by foot to find great hidden restaurants. Obviously, this stategy poses problems in a place like LA.
We live in Historic Filipinotown (wedged in between Silverlake, Echo Park, and Westlake... very close to Koreatown and Downtown as well). We haven't even found FILIPINO food within our neighborhood, which makes us feel like we must be driving around town with our eyes closed.
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE WE CAN FIND GREAT FILIPINO FOOD IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD (OR CLOSE TO IT... k-town, silverlake, etc)???
Well, Historic Filipinotown is "historic" because way back in history, some Filipinos used to live there. There aren't, to my knowledge, ANY Filipino restaurants there.
The Filipino areas are south Glendale and Eagle Rock, Panorama City, and La Habra or south Hacienda Heights.
I've enjoyed Max's of Manila in Glendale.
re: Das Ubergeek
That's strange. Looked up Goldilock's website and the only one in that area is the one I know of in West Covina. But the supermarket there is Island Pacific, and there's a Pinoy Pinay facing the Amar Road side.
I think Harbor turns into Fullerton when you enter into Rowland Heights (near the Shea Homes).
Just curious because I go through La Habra every workday and as far as I know there's nothing much of culinary significance there.
re: Das Ubergeek
My Filipino wife and I live in Filipinotown, and we aren't alone. As far as Filipino restaurants, there are several. Just at the intersection of Santa Monica and Vermont--in Vergil Village just outside of Filipinotown--there are two of them, though none are quite as good as Bahai Kubo (which isn't great either, but pretty good--although the pork adobo is rather fatty). You can also find several Filipino stores on Vermont in the same area, though Das is right in that few exist actually within Filipinotown.
The best Filipino restaurant I've tried is all the way out in Panorama City, and is now named Bahai Kubo as well. The sesig is excellent!
Filipino food can be found at Nanay Gloria's (Eagle Rock Blvd/ Verdugo exit off the 2 at the Rite Aid shopping center)
Dj's Bibingkahan on Vermont/3rd. Red Ribbon is still there (next to an Asian grocery)
Jollibee is at the WEstfield Shopping center in Eagle Rock as well (Colorado x Eagle Rock)
Welcome to L.A.-- although the immediate area you are in is a bit of a culinary wasteland, fortunately you are only a mile or two from some great stuff, mostly from non-Filipino cuisines. After reading this board for a while, I've come to the conclusion that while you will find Filipino fast food places and small cafes, it's more of a home-cooking cuisine. In addition to Bahai Kubo above, there's a place called Manila Sunset on Sunset in the mini-mall next to Rambutan Thai which is ok.
If you're interested in non-Filipino food, check out the Taco Zone truck on Alvarado north of Sunset, TiGeorges Chicken on Glendale Blvd., Brooklyn Bagel Bakery on Beverly, the Pacific Dining Car and of course many other places in Silver Lake and Echo Park.
I'm originally from Daly City (where all the Filipinos up north can be found), and I can tell you that the Jollibee in neighboring downtown SF did not fare so well. It was on a busy corner, but something tells me even the locals didn't appreciate their cooking all that much.
I like Goldilocks for mainstream, but prob b/c my family was friends with the CFO for years, and i grew to love their pancit palabok. The more 'mom & pop' the better, i think. There's not a whole lot to choose from, but folks know where to find it alright!
Right, Jollibee on 4th St and Folsom closed and turned in a Thai place (Thai Express?). I ate at Jollibee a few times...I think what you describe explains why it closed esp. since there's a traditional (although not huge) Filipino community and non-profits in that area.
There is a place in the Mint Mall at 5th that makes killer flan w/ purple sweet potatoes (sorry, don't know the traditional name).
BTW, I believe Cerritos in OC has the largest Filipino population in SoCal.
Yeah, most of the filipino restaurants around that area are on a 2 block section of Vermont. Blink and you'll miss it.
Strangely enough, I just had this question posed to me by one of my bosses! Fancy that!
Historic Filipinotown has little enclaves in strip malls. The quality of the food ranges from bleah to mmmmm! Please note that most Filipino food is served cafeteria style.
But the number one place you have to go to is this restaurant in Chinatown called Asian Noodles. It's a sit-down restaurant! It's on N. Spring Street and a tad north of Cesar Chavez. Don't let the name fool you, it's Filipino. You might have to go around the block for parking. Asian Noodles is run by the same folks who run the Ma Mon Luk chain in the Philippines. My favorite dish there is the Bicol Express (seafood). I like the Beef Steak with the Adobo Flakes (Filipino fried rice). For dessert, order the fried bananas or halo-halo! :) Yummm...
Now for the other restaurants...
Bahay Kubo on 2330 Temple St. is popular with the lunchtime crowd. There are other restaurants lining Temple St. starting from Glendale Blvd. to even past Vermont. Keep your eyes peeled. 3rd and Vermont is the little enclave. You can find anything there. Just park and walk around. On Sunset and Silver Lake Blvd is Manila Sunset.
Note that there are strip mall enclaves lining Beverly and Sunset Blvds in HiFi but in less abundance than Temple St.
Oh, and if you want Filipino fast food (other than Chow King on 3rd/Vermont), there's a new Jollibee on Vermont and Beverly. It just opened in mid-2006.
Historic Filipinotown proper:
Bahay Kubo - Temple & Park View
Aristocrat - Temple & Bonnie Brae
Nanay Gloria - Temple & Carondelet
Little Ongpin - Beverly & Union
Kuya Eddie's Greenhills - Beverly & Occidental
Kabayan Pinoy - Beverly & Hoover
Non-Cafeteria style (turo turo) Filipino restaurants
- Asian Noodles - Chinatown
- LA Rose Café - Fountain (west of Vermont)
- Salo Salo
- Max’s of Manila
- Asian Noodles (not as good as the Chinatown branch)
- Bistro Manila
- Hundred Islands Grill
- Salo Salo
- Magic Wok
- Musikahan sa Lutong Bahay
- Pinoy Bistro
- Zentro Bistro
- Manila on Main
- Maegan’s Grill
- Salo Salo
- Max’s of Manila
- Bamboo Bistro
- Isla Buffet
- Hapag Kainan Buffet
- Fiesta Sa Barrio
Bahay Kubo is the perennial favorite for most poeple. Personally, I like Kabayan Pinoy because it's the most authentic, but it may not be the best choice for the non-Filipino palate. It's a real hole in the wall and can also be a bit on the greasy side so please beware.
On a side note, I went to Fiesta Sa Barrio in Eagle Rock (corner of Eagle Rock & York) yesterday. Better atmosphere and the food is excellent.
There's also the Red Ribbon Bakeshop on Sunset and Gower. That location serves pancit palabok (the one on Vermont does not) in addition to empanadas and yummy yummy ube cakes!
I'm part Filipino so I know the area well. There are actually a lot of Filipino restaurants in Historic Filipinotown, but they're not very good. The food is served under heatlamps and Lord knows how long they've been there. A couple of them closed down due to health code violations. It's a lazy way to serve food since you can make a batch for the next few days (or even the week?) and not have to worry about making more.
However there's some good ones in nearby Glendale, Eagle Rock and Chinatown...I also have been to the Asian Noodles mentioned above, my only complaint about that place is that sometimes they run out of stuff so you can't even order it! But the food is good and the portions are huge. There's another good one in Glendale called Salosalo, I forgot what street it's on.
Even though the restaurants aren't that good in Historic Filipinotown, there's some nice Filipino bakeries in or near the area, like Goldilock's and Red Ribbon on Vermont (my Filipino cousin tells me they're archrival bakery chains from the Philippines),
Betsy's on Vermont and Alice's on Fountain in east Hollywood and United Bakery on Sunset and Griffith Park in Silver Lake. If you're in a Filipino bakery, get anything colored purple, it's good!!!
From my past adventures, as a general rule of thumb, compared to other Asian communities, there doesn't seem to a be a concentrated Filipino business area per se.
Filipino people are quite good at assimilating just about anywhere in the Southland so the best food spots are seemingly scattered in random sectors.
I've had good luck in Cerritos but usually rely on word-of-mouth from my Filipino friends. My most recent discovery is a place near downtown Anaheim in a strip mall close to the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Anaheim Blvd.(near Center St. Promenade). You know you're in a good spot when you're the only non-Filipino person in the joint. It also shares the same parking area as the Anaheim Farmer's Market (Thursdays from 9:30am-1:00pm) so it's 2 birds w/a single stone for foodies. I think the name of the restaurant is Bahay Natin.
There's a new Filipino restaurant in Historic Filipinotown called Kapistahan. It's pretty good and it's not turo-turo (aka food that's sitting in steam trays under heat lamps). I recommend the Filipino breakfasts...$6.50 each.
1925 W. Temple St., Los Angeles
Kusina on Vermont/Fountain has the best pansit I've eaten at any filipino restaurant in LA. I think that's a good measure for a decent filipino joint. However, I have yet to find a place that beats home cooking. Salo Salo in Artesia is pretty good and worth the trek if you're craving bistek and seafood. Eating there feels like you're at a BBQ party at your tita's house. I recommend their platters/family-size combo meals -- portions are generous and decently priced.
4716 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Alejandro's in Glassell Park and Asian Noodles in Chinatown are both closed.
643 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Only two restaurants in HFT worth recommending: Kapistahan on Temple and Salakot on Beverly. Both are kind of a trade-off:
Kapistahan: Excellent food, but service sucks.
Salakot: Food is arite, but service is excellent.
So the choice is yours, whether you value food or service.
Avoid Bahay Kubo like the plague, unless you want to get the runs.
Bahay Kubo Restaurant
2330 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
re: Normal Garciaparra
Are these the same guys who ran the catering only business? I've heard great things about their Filipino influenced bbq but was never ever able to make it to one of their catered events. It would be awesome if they actually have a store front.
I like Cambino's down in Orange County for filipino influenced grilled meats. Having an LA based similar concept would be fantastic.