Whether you’re looking forward to pandan-tinged old-fashioneds or a sizzling platter of pork sweetbreads sisig, one thing’s certain: If you stop by Ma’am Sir, you’re in for more than traditional Filipino fare.
Opening Wednesday in the former Bar Angeles space, the latest from RiceBar chef-owner Charles Olalia is adding more Southeast Asian flavor to Sunset Junction with cocktails, ulam mains and shareable pica pica plates all inspired by his Pampanga upbringing.
The 1,800-square-foot restaurant is nearly seven times the size of RiceBar, the chef’s cozy DTLA lunch spot; fittingly, the menu at Olalia’s new venture is larger, too. The former Patina chef teamed up with owners Russell Malixi and Wade McElroy—formerly of Bar Angeles and still of Cafe Birdie, Good Housekeeping and Horse Thief BBQ fame—to offer a fairly extensive dinner menu that includes modern and lively takes on Pinoy staples. There’s vegetarian Longanisa made of Impossible Foods meat; a fragrant kare kare stew, whose vegetables and shrimp paste arrive separately, for your dish-building pleasure; and even a take on lobster thermidor, served with taro-leaf curry, heirloom rice and galangal butter.
The exterior should be familiar to Silver Lake dwellers and indie-music aficionados alike; the iconic Elliott Smith Figure 8 mural, which has served as a memorial to the musician since his untimely death in 2003, is thankfully sticking around outside. A large portion of the wall was removed last year in the building’s conversion from retail space to restaurant, with Bar Angeles’s owners placing the detached portion of the mural on an inside wall. In Ma’am Sir’s redesign, the interior mural still exists, though it’s covered by a woven fixture (it isn’t gone forever) and those making the pilgrimage can still visit the remaining mural outside—which should be noted is the portion Smith posed against for his album cover.
Other interior elements changed, as well: Bar Angeles’s tables with vintage wooden school chairs made way for booths, its exposed wooden rafters now drip with plants. Ma’am Sir feels warm, inviting, playful, tropical: a solid place to enjoy one of those pandan old-fashioneds. If you’re lucky, you just might catch Olalia at the pass as he churns out reinterpretations of his childhood favorites, and if you’re even luckier, he just might stop to chat with you about what’s coming soon: lunch, brunch and a few more surprises.
Catch a few glimpses of what you can expect when Ma’am Sir opens later this week:
Ma’am Sir is located at 4330 W Sunset Blvd, opening Wednesday with hours of 5 to 10:30pm on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 5 to 11pm Friday and Saturday.