Aug 2018

Sari Sari Store – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Sari Sari Store - Grand Central Market - Los Angeles

The #filipinofoodmovement is heating up in Los Angeles, and Chef Margarita Manzke‘s Sari Sari Store is a standout among the panoply of newly opened Pinoy places. (Previously, we dined at LASA for The Astronomer’s 34th birthday.)

Sari Sari Store - Grand Central Market - Los Angeles

Sari Sari Store’s cooking was so very good that my cousin Jessica and I didn’t mind sweating through our lunch this afternoon. The 1917-era building that houses Grand Central Market heats up like you wouldn’t believe, especially during the peak of summer, but man it was so worth it. Yow!

Sari Sari Store - Grand Central Market - Los Angeles

We ordered two mains, two desserts, and a Melon Slush ($6.30) to share between the two of us. The “Sisig Fried Rice” bowl ($13), an intriguingly rich mash up of crispy head cheese, garlic rice, onions, chilis, and ginger, came topped with a fried egg complete with lacy whites and a runny yolk. Filipino fish sauce and vinegar were on hand to balance the dish as we pleased.

Sari Sari Store - Grand Central Market - Los Angeles

Equally fantastic was the “Pinoy BBQ” bowl ($13), sticky-sweet grilled pork ribs served with garlic rice, atsara (papaya relish), and another perfectly fried egg. The meat fell off the bone with ease.

Sari Sari Store - Grand Central Market - Los Angeles

For dessert, a refreshing rendition of “Halo Halo” ($7), which was comprised of watermelon granita, leche flan, fresh berries, coconut tapioca, and coconut ice cream. It’s hard to say which layer was most delightful, but if I had to choose, it would be the coconut ice cream. I was roasting throughout lunch, and that was A/C in a scoop.

Sari Sari Store - Grand Central Market - Los Angeles

Hitting a delightfully richer note was the “Buko Pie” ($6), a traditional buttery crust filled with coconut custard and fresh young coconut. The last buko pie that I ate was a decade ago aboard a jeepney in The Philippines, and thankfully, this version was nothing like it.

I have tried quite a few of Grand Central Market’s vendors, and Sari Sari is definitely a favorite. Come for the pig’s head fried rice, stay for the coconut pie.

Sari Sari Store
317 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 323-320-4020

One year ago: Maui Grindz: Savory, Sweet & Ono to Eat
Two years ago: 
Yang Chow Restaurant – Pasadena
Three years ago:
Burritos La Palma – El Monte
Four years ago: 
Szechuan Impression – Alhambra
Five years ago: Elena’s Greek Armenian Cuisine – Los Angeles (Glendale)
Six years ago: Les Terrasses de Corton – Ladoix-Serrigny
Seven years ago: Picca – West Los Angeles
Eight years ago: Birch & Barley – Washington D.C.
Nine years ago: JTYH Restaurant – Rosemead
Ten years ago: Maison Boulud – Beijing
Eleven years ago: Vegetation Profile: Pomelo

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