1515 Griffith Park Blvd · Los Angeles, CA 90026 · Neighborhood: Silver Lake
Filipino food has been getting a lot of attention in the last few months. Well-known food personalities like Anthony Bourdain, Evan Kleinman and Roy Choi have been exploring why this underdog of cuisines hasn’t really gotten the love and exposure that it has deserved here in Los Angeles. My best friend and roommate in Chicago was Filipino, and somehow we never once talked about the type of meals he grew up on. Why had I never tried it before!?
I wanted to find out more about the Pinoy food culture once and for all…
Naturally, I hit up my blogger pal Karena Higgins, who runs the Filipino centric, Pig Parts and Beer blog. Karena took me to a few of her favorite neighborhood gems and taught me a thing or two about the local Filipino culture on the Eastside. Lucky for me, I got an edible education along the way.
Our first stop was at United Bakery in Silver Lake. Shop owner, Andrea de Guzman first came to the United States in 1978 with just $10 in her pocket. The bakery was her husband’s idea and they went from making traditional dishes (like pancit, lumpia, assorted hopia and siopao) in their apartment to the full fledged bakery that is there today.
As with any business, it wasn’t without hardship. Despite the “gang infested” neighborhood and fears of deportation when they started out, they were able to survive the violence and gentrification and have become a favorite among locals in the Silver Lake neighborhood.