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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)???

Thanks!

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  1. 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.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Didn't know La Habra and Hacienda Heights have Filipino restaurants/shops (and I drive by those places a lot).

      There's also a pocket in West Covina around Azusa road. The common chains are there - Pinoy Pinay, Goldilocks.

      1. re: notmartha

        There's a little Filipino section centred on the Jollibee on Fullerton Road (or Harbor Blvd., not sure exactly when that changes name). There's also a Seafood City (Filipino grocery store) in there and a Goldilocks Bakery.

        1. 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.

      2. 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!

        1. re: ErnestBershnergalderf

          try kapistahan on temple street & bonnie brae. good food is worth the wait.

      3. 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)

        1. bahai Kubo on Temple west of alvarado is worth a try

          1. 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.

            1. Manila Good Ha on Vermont around 2nd Street has good, cheap Filipino food.

              Also there's a Jollibee (filipino owned fast food) at Vermont and Beverly (i think) just south of the 101 freeway on Vermont.

              2 Replies
              1. re: alskii

                I do like Manila Good-Ha quite a lot -- there are branches everywhere, though I usually go to Manila Good-Ha sa Panorama. Be careful of housekeeping -- sometimes the hot food line foods aren't hot. Stick to fresh-cooked foods and you'll be fine. I love their breakfasts.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  There is - or was - a Good Ha on Colorado in Glendale (west of Glendale Blvd - in the same shopping center as the Little Cesar's pizza.

                  Manila Good Ha Inc.
                  900 E Colorado St
                  Glendale, CA 91205
                  (818) 662-0971

              2. Haven't been, but I've heard reports from many hounds that Alejandro's in Eagle Rock is good for Filipino food.

                Alejandro's
                4126 Verdugo Rd
                Los Angeles 90065
                323-550-1063

                1 Reply
                1. re: webb

                  Here are pictures of meals I've had at Alejandro's:

                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addic...
                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addic...

                  Alejandro's is my favorite Filipino restaurant. :)

                2. Thank you so much to all who replied. This was unbelievably helpful!

                  1. 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!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: brekkie_fan

                      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.

                      1. re: ML8000

                        Cerritos is on the border, but is in Los Angeles County. There are quite a few Filipinos in Cerritos, and Eagle Rock, National City and Carson have large populations as well.

                        1. re: SauceSupreme

                          Not to mention what could be called "southeast Koreatown" and Panorama City up in the Valley.

                    2. Yeah, most of the filipino restaurants around that area are on a 2 block section of Vermont. Blink and you'll miss it.

                      1. 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.

                        Bon appetit!

                          1. re: pleasurepalate

                            Those pictures have convinced me to try Asian Noodles.

                            1. re: pleasurepalate

                              Thanks for the pictures. Looked fantastic!

                            2. 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

                              LA
                              - Asian Noodles - Chinatown
                              - LA Rose Café - Fountain (west of Vermont)

                              Glendale
                              - Salo Salo
                              - Max’s of Manila
                              - Asian Noodles (not as good as the Chinatown branch)

                              Panorama City
                              - Bistro Manila

                              Santa Clarita
                              - Hundred Islands Grill

                              Artesia
                              - Salo Salo
                              - Magic Wok

                              Lakewood
                              - Musikahan sa Lutong Bahay

                              Cerritos
                              - Pinoy Bistro
                              - Goldilocks
                              - Zentro Bistro

                              Carson
                              - Manila on Main
                              - Maegan’s Grill

                              West Covina
                              - Salo Salo
                              - Max’s of Manila
                              - Bamboo Bistro

                              Eagle Rock
                              - Isla Buffet
                              - Hapag Kainan Buffet
                              - Goldilocks
                              - Alejandro’s
                              - Fiesta Sa Barrio

                              1. Valley Pinoy--

                                Wow thanks for that thorough list! Which of the "Hi-Fi" options is your favorite?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Hi_Fi_Chowmaster

                                  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.

                                  1. re: Hi_Fi_Chowmaster

                                    Excellent food at Fiesta sa Barrio, place is just too small to host a party though. Wish they had a bigger place.

                                  2. 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!

                                    1. 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!!!

                                      1. 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.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: gabehoya

                                          Great name. It's Tagalog for "Our House"

                                        2. 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

                                            1. 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.

                                              -----
                                              Kusina
                                              4716 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: srasaviola

                                                Is Kusina a sit down restaurant or Turo Turo?

                                                -----
                                                Kusina
                                                4716 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

                                                1. re: pleasurepalate

                                                  It's turo-turo. Besides salo-salo, I haven't found a sit-down Filipino restaurant that wowed me.

                                                  1. re: srasaviola

                                                    Have you tried Magic Wok in Artesia. It's no frills, but I really like the food:

                                                    http://pleasurepalate.blogspot.com/20...

                                                    1. re: pleasurepalate

                                                      Much prefer Manila Grille (Buena Park) over Magic Wok in terms of pricing, environs, tastiness.

                                                      Magik Wok makes me want to bathe in bleach after a meal from both the food's greasiness and the room's dankness.

                                                      -----
                                                      Manila Grille
                                                      7635 Knott Ave, Buena Park, CA 90620

                                              2. Alejandro's in Glassell Park and Asian Noodles in Chinatown are both closed.

                                                -----
                                                Asian Noodles
                                                643 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                                1. 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

                                                  1. There's also a new Filipino BBQ joint opening in Historic Filipinotown in the near future - The Park's Finest, on Temple & Edgeware, look for it!

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. 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.

                                                      1. re: Jase

                                                        The very same one, Jase. And they've got a beer and wine license to boot. Fall 2011.

                                                        1. re: Kris P Pata

                                                          Sweet! Chowdown in the fall! Thanks for the confirmation, I'll keep an eye out for developments.

                                                    2. Any turo-turo recommendations (preferably in the Ktown, Hi-Fi, Silverlake area) that serves pretty good dinuguan? I used to go to this place in Palms (on Venice/Clarington) but it has since been closed down.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: kokosowy

                                                        Manila good-ha is a good turo-turo spot. they have two locations, one on vermont/3rd and the other on 6th & catalina. neri's is good too. they're on 6th and occidental. dj bibingkahan is good. also on vermont/3rd area. all the other turo-turo spots in those areas are mediocre.