What you need to order at Filipino restaurants in Los Angeles
When it comes to finding good Filipino food, it's hard to find one place that does everything well. Our family's go-to for Filipino food is Max's Restaurant of Manila in Glendale. It's a chain that I've also visited in the Philippines that does dependable Filipino food across the board. The service is always wonderful in Glendale and exemplifies true Filipino hospitality. This post is not only about Max's, but the other restaurants and the dishes that makes each place a destination and worth a visit.
It's this hospitality that travel bloggers experience in the Philippines that makes their visit so memorable that some choose not to leave the country or tell others that "the Philippines is the best country to visit in the world." It's the people. The untouched beauty you can find in every corner. The diversity and culture of each region. There probably is no better place in the world to explore Filipino food and culture other than Los Angeles.
Laing at Max's of Manila in Glendale. This is my favorite Filipino dish that I love to order when I see it at restaurants in the Philippines in Los Angeles. It's made out of dried taro leaves and coconut milk -- utterly complex flavors and delicious. Don't miss their specialty Filipino-style fried chicken with banana catsup (the Philippines culinary gift to the world).
Ukoy (shrimp fritters) at Lillian's Bread & Sweets in Northridge. This Filipino turo-turo joint serves above average Filipino serving hard to find regional Filipino dishes as well. You can't find ukoy everywhere and suggest you call in before coming in to ask if they have it. It's a must and my one of my absolute favorites! They also might have some regional dishes you can't find at any other restaurant in Los Angeles.
Hopia mongo at Hopia Like It in Winnetka and Granada Hills. This is the best hopia mongo probably in the world. My aunt from the Philippines said that there is nothing like this in the Philippines. Their Granada Hills location has the best version of halo-halo I've tried in LA. Photo credit: Business owner on Yelp.
Macapuno bibingka. This place makes the best flavored bibingka. My favorite being the macapuno compared to the ube bibingka and plain bibingka. I bring it to parties and it's always a hit. Tony's Bibingkinitan moved to West Covina but they sold their recipe to Fiesta Barbecue. Photo credit: Jenn G. on Yelp.
Boodle Fight at Bamboo Bistro in Panorama City. Also known as "kamayan" only in America, in the Philippines this tradition can be traced to military times where you shared a meal on banana leaves with your military comrades. The best experience to try this in Los Angeles is at Bamboo Bistro. Other places such as LA Rose or pop-ups charge a lot of money to dine "kamayan" style.
I love exploring Los Angeles like a tourist. I have as much fun in my hometown as I do traveling to another country. I hope my adventures inspire you to eat well and travel often.