The Best Filipino Restaurants in Los Angeles
From pork adobo to house-made Spam, here are 14 of our favorite Filipino restaurants in LA.
Between brand-new rotisseries, pop-ups run out of a backyard in La Cañada Flintridge, and a Panorama City restaurant serving food that tastes exactly like someone’s mom cooked it for you at a birthday party - there’s no one way to describe all of the incredible Filipino food being made in Los Angeles right now. Some of it is found at traditional turo-turo restaurants, where you literally point to a case of food to order, while some of it consists of fusion dishes like house-made Spam, ube horchatas, and pork sisig drizzled in spicy mayonnaise. One thing is for sure though - this city has plenty of it. From North Hollywood to Torrance, to the Grand Central Market, here are 14 of the best Filipino restaurants in Los Angeles.
The food from this Panorama City restaurant is the equivalent of finding your old Nintendo DS in the back of your closet and proceeding to play Cooking Mama: Dinner With Friends for two hours straight: super comforting, and something we all need a little bit more of nowadays. From extra crispy pork pata to a rich and thick kare-kare that goes heavy on the peanuts, the food here is clearly inspired by the rich tradition of potlucks in Filipino home cooking - dishes that taste like they were made by a friend’s mom, or could be found laid out at a birthday party. If you don’t live in the Valley, the journey out here can be a little far, but we’d commit to that drive any day, just for a cup of their bulalo soup – a traditional dish made with beef shank, potatoes, and cabbage that’s rich, nourishing, and could probably bring you back to life after a ten-hour TikTok binge. Head to their website to place an order for takeout.
Sari Sari Store LA
When attached to a name like Republique, expectations are sure to be high. It’s sort of like the restaurant version of being a part of a high-profile tell-all with Oprah, or the time we choked on the word “umlaut” at the State Spelling Bee. But unlike our ultimate downfall in 2008, Sari Sari Store at the Grand Central Market actually lives up to those expectations. The adobo fried rice tastes delightfully sweet and sour – a stir-fried mix of rotisserie chicken, pickled vegetables, and a perfect fried egg on top. Lechon kawali takes the best part of the pork – the belly – and makes it extra crispy and crackly to bite into. And that buko pie. Accurately described on the menu as “coconut, coconut, and coconut,” this pie is super custardy, flaky, and exactly what you want after a super long day of window shopping at Aesop but ultimately don’t feel like buying anything.
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photo credit: Jakob Layman
Kuya Lord began as a pandemic-era pop-up, but is now a full brick-and-mortar in East Hollywood. The tiny, order-at-the-counter cafe only has about four tables inside, but if you roll in with family or friends, there will definitely be enough room. The menu consists mainly of rice bowls with garlicky java rice and your choice of protein (the prawns drenched in garlic sauce are a standout), but under no circumstances should you leave without the pancit chami. It’s a savory-sweet, decadent stir fry made with fish cakes, pork belly, oyster sauce, and plump, chewy wheat noodles. If you’re here with two to three people, share the longtapsilog tray, which comes with grilled sweet sausage and short ribs, pancit, garlic rice, salad, pickled papaya, and several dipping sauces for $42. Leftovers will be a given.
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Chaaste Family Market
Half-convenient store, half-restaurant, this Pasadena market is your one-stop-shop for hand-rolled pork lumpia, Filipino snacks and candies, and a large variety of dishes like juicy, vinegary pork adobo, eggplant cooked with shrimp paste. Plus, there’s a particularly excellent turon here – a sweet, sticky version of lumpia that’s been deep-fried, dusted with brown sugar, and filled with mashed bananas that are sold in boxes of five. Get two (or three) of them.
There’s a lot to love on Lasita’s streamlined menu, like brined pork belly lechon, citrus-y inasal chicken stuffed with lemongrass and garlic, that banana confit turon pie. But one of our favorite things from this new Chinatown shop comes in sandwich form. Called the “Lechonista,” this dense, pork belly behemoth is exactly what you want to eat on days when you need something to keep you toasty through LA’s cold, early Spring days. Served on a thick, appropriately crusty Bub and Grandma’s ciabatta loaf, thick cubes of crispy pork lechon are topped with charred scallions, cilantro salsa verde, red onions, and a tangy calamansi vin stew. While the sandwich is not as effective at solving your freezing cold-related woes as a heated blanket or actually wearing a thick enough jacket, it sure does taste better than those options.
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Spoon & Pork
Spoon & Pork treats pork like Bowen Yang treats his airtime on Saturday Night Live: unafraid to experiment with it, and having the end result probably blow your mind. This Silver Lake spot serves all sorts of dishes honoring the all-sacred pig, including adobo pork belly, chorizo burgers, pork belly bánh mì, and more. But the star of the show here, is the patita – a tender, sweet, spicy, and very garlic-heavy pork shank dish that’s slow-roasted then deep-fried. Could it last you three meals? Maybe. Will you finish it in one? Probably.
OK, we know we sound like we were born approximately 700 years ago. But although there’s plenty to appreciate about modern living, (like being able to blame your bad personality traits on your Virgo moon), there are a few disadvantages. Namely, the dollar bill no longer goes as far as it used to. Which is why Dollar Hits, a Filipino street-food truck turned grab-and-go restaurant, feels like such a revelation. Almost everything here costs $1, including skewers of thick and creamy grilled isaw, or large pork intestine, fried chicken head, and betamax, otherwise known as congealed pigs blood. All of which taste especially great after being dunked in their special, super-vinegary BBQ sauce that cuts the richness of the meat and punches the inside of your mouth with lots of delicious tangy flavors.
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photo credit: HiFi Kitchen
This casual rice bowl joint on Beverly Blvd. is packed with vegetable sisig, chicken adobo-stuffed tacos, fries topped with ground beef chili and bell peppers, plus some of the best retro ’70s and ’80s memorabilia you’ll find in a building made in this century. Everything tends to hover around the $12 mark, so enjoy making your way down their menu, with their crispy chicken wings marinated in their signature inasal chili oil, or talib kawali - a marinated pork belly bowl, that, much like a certain Muppets relationship, focuses primarily on the pig. It’s all available for takeout and delivery - call (213) 258-8417 or order online.
This casual DTLA spot serves a variety of Filipino classics, like pillowy pan de sal, pancit, and a thick and peanut-heavy kare kare. But they also serve a few fusion dishes - Impossible meat is stuffed into lumpia and adobo French dip sandwiches are filled with organic chicken and provolone, then served with a side of piping hot adobo jus. Head there earlier in the day to snag one of their many excellent traditional pastries, including money buns, seasonal fruit mamon, and the ensaymada - a delightful, sweet brioche roll topped with sugar, cheese, and a touch of cream. Perfect for sharing with your roommates, or to devour in the car by yourself.
Soo Good Lutong Pinoy
Much like a well-designed logo or this amazing, straightforward video on how to How To Wrap a Present, Soo Good Lutong isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they’re focusing on nothing but the classics, including simple versions of sweet, bright-red tocilog, massive servings of stir-fried rice and egg noodles, plus our favorite thing on the menu, the deceptively low key bangkus, or boneless marinated milkfish filet. Simply fried in a little salt and pepper, it looks exactly like it sounds - a fried fish filet - but it packs a punch of flavor and vinegar in every bite. You gotta expect the unexpected.
This small Sawtelle shop covers the entire spectrum of Fiipino food - traditional dishes, fusion creations, and even a house-made spam that tastes exactly like the one you’d find in a can, but meatier and served with a sweet, banana ketchup. Created by Barb Batiste, of the neighboring dessert shop, B Sweet, this restaurant offers everything from chicken adobo to pickles marinated in papaya radish, to a hefty pork sisig that comes drizzled in spicy mayonnaise and served over rice. It makes for the perfect lunchtime meal, or leftovers to break out in case of emergency.
Down in the South Bay, Silog is serving fusion Filipino rice bowls that will bring you comfort on even the hardest of days - including the ones where your camera roll decides to show you pictures of how bad your bangs looked last year (or is that just us?). There’s garlic shrimp, made sweet and sticky with garlic, calamansi, and honey. Tocino silog is served over a bed of white rice and comes in a bright-red color, full of anise wine, annatto, and pineapple flavors. And our favorite thing, the sisig silog, is a perfect blend of braised pork belly, chicharon, and a garlic crème aioli we’ve dreamed about taking a bath in too many times.
Previously known as Frankie Lucy BakeShop, this small Silver Lake storefront has everything you want for a needed dose of sugar, including bread pudding, ube horchatas, and upside-down pies filled with a smooth, creamy purple custard that’s contrasted nicely by the crunchy cookie crumble on top. It’s all available for takeout and delivery - to order for pickup, call (323) 285-1458, or order through their website.