Taste the “godfather” of Los Angeles’ innovative Filipino foods for the past decade

NORTHRIDGE, CA — When it comes to Filipino food, a small family business has become one of the Valley’s hidden gems.

Known for its ube pancakes, it’s also “flipped” a classic American favorite, chicken and waffles.


Long before the ube and pandaan craze, Ninong’s Pastries and Cafe has been pushing purple and thinking green.

For ten years, the cafe has been merging Philippine flavors with a taste of classic American breakfasts.

These long-standing pushers of Filipino food began when Carissa Ortega’s family wanted to launch a bakery, but ended up buying a deli space.


“We said why don’t we start doing Filipino breakfasts, why are we just doing bacon and eggs. Let’s do longanisa and eggs, tocino and eggs, then we came up with the idea of ube pancakes in the transition of becoming a restaurant,” said Ortega. “Our goal was just to spread the idea of Filipino food, it was never just ube. It was all of the food.”


To celebrate their decade of success, Ninong’s held a media tasting at their new Northridge location.

Rolling out some of their new fusion dishes — Philippine-inspired chicken wings, a bibingka-style chicken and waffle, Vietnamese-style sandwiches, and for dessert, a tres-leches style ube flan cake.

Giving both Filipino and non-Pinoy foodies a taste of home — after all, that’s where the store’s name comes from.

“Ninong is actually my dad and we decided to name it Ninong’s, because we were looking for a Tagalog word that was something all cultures could easily pronounce just by reading it. So we went with Ninong especially since it has sentimental family meaning.”


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