Ma’am/Sir opens in Silver Lake


Lucky to have walked in with success to the barely three-week old Ma’am/Sir in uberhip Silver Lake.

For someone who has lived or visited the Philippines, ma’am and sir automatically follow every greeting to the point of amusement. Respect like hospitality is ingrained in the Filipino culture. For all that, a very cute name for a trendy Filipino food spot in Los Angeles showcasing the audacious flavors of the Philippine Islands.

Chef Charles Olalia, formerly of Patina, a Michelin star rated French restaurant at the Disney Concert Hall, among his other previous training grounds, creates contemporary Filipino fare inspired by his Kapangpangan roots. His sweet longaniza and pancit luglug, dishes I’ve tried at his thriving RiceBar on 7th Street in Downtown Los Angeles surpass even the best back home.


Pinoy Baby Boomers and also Gen Xers can relate to hanged framed magazine pages with basketball stars of the Philippine MICAA era, iconic Larry Mumar, Francis Arnaiz, Bogs Adornado, and Jaworski, to name a few.


When trying a place for the very first time, I always end up overordering. I was expecting the Ilocos empanada as inspo behind the Impossible Empanada coz it sounded like the empanada I grew up with, what with a longaniza and shredded papaya filling? Nonetheless satisfying, it arrived in a flaky pastry shell, more like the Spanish-influenced traditional Filipino empanada, yet with a unique longaniza and papaya atchara fill.


Kare-Kare comes, of course, with the essential bagoong (fish paste). It brings out the very best in oxtail stew, and white rice is the best accompaniment for this rich kind of ulam.


I was happiest with my banana-mango bibingka (sticky rice cake), very traditional with its texture and overall taste. The fancy Chantilly cream and edible flowers make the otherwise plain-looking bibingka luxurious.

Fil-Ams in the gentrified Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods, not to mention the Historic Filipinotown, can’t be happier with the arrival of Ma’am/Sir. And all the ma’ams and sirs wanting to explore vibrant Filipino culture, or who have already embraced Filipino cookery.


LA from my POV


Only until I was able to confidently hop on a train to go to Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), and take the bus without really looking at the bus app anymore, that I was able to fully enjoy exploring the hidden gems of the city. I have company on Thursdays, but otherwise, it’s a better idea to have your own loose schedule, making room for randonimity.

I have my favorite spots like I’d want to go back to over and over again, and share it with friends.

The Last Bookstore on Spring St. is walkable from my other fave places like the Grand Central Market.


The Los Angeles Arts District is for someone who doesn’t mind walking blocks of old warehouses converted to galleries, hip bars and cafes and trendy boutiques. If Instagrammable settings are your thing, then you should be hawk-eyed for catchy street art.


Hipsterdom Silver Lake also happens to be a foodie heaven. Too many options, but so far liking Pine and Crane for Taiwanese food, Millie’s breakfast plates, El Cochinito for Cuban homestyle cooking,  kitschy Thai restaurant Night + Market Song, Milk for desserts, and on the border of East Hollywood, there’s Sqirl which I never tire of. If you eat only organic, you will love the weekend market.


Not your ordinary vintage shops abound in this neighbornood.


Any Chinatown in the world is interesting, but what makes the Los Angeles Chinatown more interesting is the fact that the Far East Plaza, which used to house Chinese cultural art and traditional products, has opened its doors to an insane hodgepodge of globally liked dishes, like there’s a good ramen spot, a Chego, which creates modern Korean rice bowls, a banh mi and pho place, a bao house owned by actor Eddie Huang (they have the best coffin bao!), an inexpensive but fantastic Chinese restaurant, Scoops with the most original ice cream flavors, the newly opened contemporary Filipino Lasa, not to forget Howlin’ Ray’s which has an impossible long line always.


Not far from the Far East Plaza are great dim sum restaurants like Ocean Seafood (if you find the San Gabriel Valley out of the way).


The Grand Central Market. Yes, the iconic 1917 Grand Central Market is better than ever, what with the new Los Angeles food culture. And then mixing the old with the new makes the experience more evocative.


The long line leading to Eggslut is still there. I always get the Fairfax with avocado and bacon add-ons. Sari-Sari Store is good news to Filipino food lovers. Liking the sisig bowl, super nakaka-nostalgia.

A lot of food for the soul here.


Right across the Grand Central Market is the Bradbury Building, a living proof of stellar historical preservation. If it looks familiar to you, it is because it was used as filming location to scenes in the original Blade Runner.


Something I enjoyed was tracking down the Camera Obscura that gives a pinhole view of the Santa Monica beach.


Discovering the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine on Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades was serendipity. So Zen, it is a place to forget all your worries, or just be away from the urban wild.

I like spending my time in museums. I love LACMA where Picasso made me cry. And The Broad was so much fun. Across The Broad is the Disney Concert Hall.


They say the best thing about LA is Koreatown. If you like Korean food you will definitely agree, but there’s more than Kbbq and bibimbap and jap chae here. The busiest Boiling Crab is in Ktown. It’s also home to Sun Nong Dan, which serves the best sullungtang bone broth and cheesy galbi jjim. I swear by Cassell’s Hamburgers at the Hotel Normandie. And the best bingsoo, to me, is at Anko. Wako Donkasu, for its  cold soba and pork katsu, is another personal fave. I’m having an affair with a Korean hairstylist. I buy my green tea here, and checking out the latest in Kbeauty is therapeutic.


I’ve never enjoyed Los Angeles like this before.

Phone Photos of Silver Lake and Brunch at Millie’s


Yay! I am a new owner of a 4G phone, a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. Getting the hang of mobile photography. Let’s start with my neighborhood. Honestly, walking to Sunset Blvd. was more pleasurable with just a phone and twenty dollars in my pocket.

Beautiful QuoteMillie's Cafe, Sunset Blvd.20160108_12074520160108_11402720160108_12040620160108_114644

Went to this old American breakfast place called Millie’s. An institution in Silver Lake, Millie’s is open only up til 4PM and is always packed, oftentimes with long lines, but I was lucky to get a seat by the bar. Eggs, toasts and pancakes are popular, as well as their Mexican-inspired and vegan options. It was difficult to choose what eggs Benedict to get. Settled with California style, traditional Benedict merged with avocados and crisp smoked applewood bacon, with rosemary potatoes on the side. The hollandaise sauce was flawless. The explosion of flavors sent me to a foodgasm. The serving was hefty, but it was all worth the trip. Staff is wonderful, food is served quickly, and it really feels like a friendly neighborhood eatery.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016