By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 22, 2014
LOS ANGELES – A smoking Filipino craze is hitting the streets of Los Angeles, appealing to the hungry, the adventurous, and the homesick.
“It’s really good. It’s street food and I miss Filipino food,” said Orange County resident Grace Mitche.
Even non-Filipinos tried the food.
“Very unique, very different. I’m Mexican so I eat a lot of like intestines, stuff like that already. I eat buche, tripas, cabeza, stuff like that,” said Steven Russell.
Temple Seafood Market in Historic Filipinotown began selling street foods on their corner last year, drawing big weekend crowds for favorites like kwek-kwek, Betamax and Adidas.
“Gusto ko mga kababayan nating Pilipino, dito lahat, magkita-kita dito. Dito may nag reunion, may nag birthday, everybody. Manila, Manila,” said Elvira Chan of Temple Seafood Market.
Each stick is a dollar a piece, but many regulars don’t stop at one.
“40 bucks worth – we missed it that’s why,” said Ced De Castro.
Thirty minutes away in the heavily Pinoy populated Panorama City, Chan’s friend Alice Tabalon also decided to double Toto’s Seafood Grill, a typical Filipino “turo-turo”, into a “pika-pika” on weekends with customers lining up to grab $1 sticks of street eats and huddling around small grills and saucing stations.
“Isaw-isaw talagang Pilipinong-Pilipino,” said Christina De Leon from Los Angeles.
The success at Toto’s has owners now planning for another Filipino food trend that very few restaurants do in Southern California.
“We’re going to have kamayan here next month,” said Tabalon.
Contact Steve Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org