Chef Barb Batiste may well be rightfully lauded for her B Sweet desserts, but her savory items on sale at Big Boi are also currently the best modern take on Filipino food in Los Angeles. The slightly sweet pork tocino displays her deft hand with curing the meat with sugar, and the simple perfection of pancit (noodles) and garlic rice shows that she comes from a culture where getting these basics wrong might cause a family frown. The weekend special of a crunchy fried chicken with a suitably peppery gravy is simply a must have.
Right before the whole world was put on hold, Filipino food and flavors were definitely having a much-deserved moment in L.A., from the South Bay to the San Gabriel Valley. But thankfully, even with the closure of a place like Ma’am Sir that contributed so much to bringing this cuisine to the fore, there’s still plenty of top-notch Filipino food on offer.
The crunch of lumpia, the crackle of lechon, the thick, peanut-tinged aroma of kare-kare stew—once tried, it’s hard to forget the flavor of the Philippines. Whether you want to sample what L.A.’s innovators are cooking up at a Downtown stand or check out a traditional turo-turo (“point-point” joint), here’s where to find the city’s best Filipino cuisine, from Long Beach to West Covina and back again.