Day off be like

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Been experiencing winter here in Los Angeles for a couple of weeks now. Rains just stopped, as well. So at 45°, still seeing exposed ankles. That’s the kind of winter we get in California.

Top photo was shot by the lady with me in the next photo. She’s Marcy Contreras, a sharp 84-year-old Ilocana, who works at my friend’s office. Btw, she’s an Atenista. I want to be like her, a bundle of energy, when I reach her age. She’s really adorable.

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This is where I go Filipino food shopping. It can get expensive buying my Purefoods corned beef, Cabalen longganisa, Do-Do fishballs, Dagupeña alamang bagoong and chichirya, but what the heck?

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Philippine mangoes are hard to come by, so Mexican will do. They’re the equivalent of our very own apple mangoes.

Okay, loves, ’til the next blog post. Looks like sunny days are here to stay.

Sari Sari Store at the Grand Central Market LA

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At last, a convenient stop for silog in Los Angeles! Just like its name, Sari Sari, which is the Filipino word for variety, the store or stall that opened last summer at the iconic Grand Central Market, offers notoriously liked traditional mainstream items, and lechon manok, arroz caldo and halo-halo are the Chippy, Halls and Coca-Cola here.

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Caught Chef Margarita Lorenzana Manzke, one of the owners of Sari Sari Store, also a co-owner of the crowd-pleasing République on La Brea, and Wildflour Bakery & Cafe in Manila, a James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef nominee, fervently working on  buko pie, a mainstay at Sari Sari. Husband Chef Walter Manzke was also around.

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Located in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), the Grand Central Market, a 1917 landmark, houses the many different flavors and cultures of the city. Eating here is a must-do when in LA.  Eggslut, Wexler’s Deli, Mc Connell’s Fine Ice Cream, La Huerta Candies, and lately, Sari Sari Store, are my frequent stops.

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Arroz caldo is a hit among non-Pinoy guests here. With mushrooms, it’s a delicious modern rendition of the original arroz caldo back home. So far, I’ve tried tortang talong, studded with corn, and best eaten with patis; sisig rice, which is more liver than pig face, but definitely, the way I like it, like the original Kapangpangan Aling Lucing style; the Americanized buko pie; halo-halo with frozen watermelon and caramelized rice crispies; and homemade calamansi soda — all fun and still Filipino, notwithstanding the fresh twists on the basics.

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Absolutely, unlike a sari-sari store in the Philipines, no pa-lista here, cash and credit cards only.

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